• Sweden edition

Prankster convicted for office gas cloud blast

Published: 16 Sep 2011 11:40 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Sep 2011 11:40 GMT+02:00

The man, reportedly in his fifties, has a reputation as a bit of a prankster and enjoyed playing tricks on his colleagues from time to time.

According to the man himself, it was not an unheard of activity at the company in Varberg, in southern Sweden, where employees seemed to enjoy a good joke.

But when the man decided in February to change the hose connections on a flux bin, containing a chemical agent used in metallurgy, things didn't go as planned.

Despite the man's claims that he had performed the stunt numerous times before as a joke, his shenanigans caused a gas cloud to form which then ignited, causing a powerful explosion.

The man sustained serious injuries in the blast, as his hair and clothes caught on fire, resulting in a lengthy hospital stay.

A few of his colleagues were also injured. One woman's clothes caught fire and she sustained a lasting hearing impairment from the blast.

Two other colleagues who had been close by when the explosion occurred suffered passing hearing problems and one received burns to his face.

Cases of negligent behaviour often carry suspended sentences and damages in Sweden.

But prior to the trial the prosecutor had said if the court found that the man had acted especially negligent, a prison sentence was not an impossibility.

”If this borders on intent, a prison sentence could be on the cards,” said prosecutor Marie-Louise Eskilstorp to local paper Hallands Nyheter before the sentencing.

However, although the court ruled that the man must have known of the potential consequences of his actions, it did not believe he had purposefully intended to hurt his colleagues.

The failed prankster therefore received a suspended sentence for negligent behaviour causing bodily harm to his co-workers.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

15:04 September 16, 2011 by DamnImmigrant
I wonder if the company will be unable to terminate his employment.
16:23 September 16, 2011 by salalah
This problem occurs every Thursday in our office...
23:56 September 17, 2011 by SuperTulle
I heard a story from Domnarvet in Borlänge once. As a steelworks, they did a lot of welding, and oxygen and acetylene was piped throughout the buildings.

A common prank was do fill a small paper bag with a small amount of acetylene, and then light it on fire, producing a small bang. One day, a relatively new guy saw this, and decided to "up the ante". He filled a garbage sack with acetylene, and lit it.

The ensuing explosion went pretty much like in the article (except my dad never mentioned anyone other than the guy holding the sack getting hurt), and the dust from the roof girders didn't settle for a week.
12:49 September 18, 2011 by muscle
this happens when according to SOME something is safe while it isn;t. Some time back there were news that a guy wanted to make a nuclear reactor in the kitchen. and many wanted to say he was right. these kind of problems take place when only one mind tries to see the danger in something and misses out many other possible dangers.
Today's headlines
Volvo profits saved by Chinese devotion
Volvo Cars chief executive Håkan Samuelsson. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Volvo profits saved by Chinese devotion

The now Chinese-owned Volvo Car Group announced a return to profits on Wednesday - thanks to the Swedish brand's popularity in China. READ  

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad donated a gift to his hometown on Wednesday to the tune of 53 million kronor ($7.7 million). The cash is to be used for developing the area. READ  

Police hunt masked thief after Stockholm fire
Photo: Fanni Olin Dahl/TT

Police hunt masked thief after Stockholm fire

The Slussen tunnel in Stockholm began billowing out black smoke on Wednesday afternoon. Police believe that the fire was connected to an attempted robbery earlier in the day. READ  

Elections 2014
Parties duel as refugee costs skyrocket
Photos: TT

Parties duel as refugee costs skyrocket

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Opposition Leader Stefan Löfven clashed on Wednesday after the Migration Board asked for more money to handle Sweden's influx of refugees. READ  

Introducing: Sweden's five minority languages
The Sami in northern Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Introducing: Sweden's five minority languages

Did you know there are five official minority languages in Sweden? The Local's Isabela Vrba finds out what they are, how they're protected, and what rights their speakers have. READ  

Swedish docs puzzled by deformed penis trend

Swedish docs puzzled by deformed penis trend

More and more Swedish boys are born with deformed penises, and researchers are uncertain exactly what's behind the increase. READ  

The Local List
What Sweden means to you in just one Tweet
Photos: Shutterstock/Imagebank Sweden

What Sweden means to you in just one Tweet

The Local Sweden has been asking readers to squeeze their view of Sweden into just 140 characters or less. Here's what you came up with up for #SwedeninaTweet. READ  

Getinge Floods
Swedish floods hit day two as rain continues
Photo: Anders Andersson/TT

Swedish floods hit day two as rain continues

UPDATED: The flood in southern Sweden showed no signs of abating on Wednesday, with forecasters predicting that the rains are unlikely to stop any time soon. READ  

Sweden and the Bronx
Swedes celebrate 375th anniversary of the Bronx
The Bronx. Photo:Shutterstock.

Swedes celebrate 375th anniversary of the Bronx

What do the Bronx and Sweden have in common? More than an affiliation with the Yankees, it turns out. And one small Swedish town is about to make that abundantly clear. READ  

Bildt: 'We must increase efforts in Iraq'
Bildt in Baghdad on Monday. Photo: Karim Kadim/TT

Bildt: 'We must increase efforts in Iraq'

After meeting with refugees and politicians in Iraq on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said Sweden must increase its efforts to help Iraq reach a lasting solution. READ  

See more images from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »


17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

Food agency warns girls: 'Don't eat stinky fish'
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
People-watching August 16-17
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Top ten literal Swedish words
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
Swedish politician proposes ban on begging
Swede asks for epidural and gets disinfectant
Swede reports 'expensive' sex to police
Sweden plans to scrap SFI for adult education
Kiruna residents talk life in a town on the move
Why is feminism such a hot topic in Sweden?
Swedish dad takes kids to Israel to learn about war
RIP Åle, the world's oldest eel
Introducing: The Swedish crayfish party
Stockholm bus spontaneously combusts
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: