back to article Air mattress blast blows German man across room

A German chap who attempted fix a leaking inflatable mattress with "industrial strength" puncture repair spray prompted an industrial strength blast which caused €150,000 (£129,000; $200,600) worth of damage to his rented gaff. The unnamed 41-year-old had just moved into a house in Diepholz in Lower Saxony and, being a bit …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Ryan 7

    How do you become an expert in matress explosions?

    ... ooooohhh.

    1. NightFox

      Re: How do you become an expert in matress explosions?

      Ruined mattress, a few cuts and bruises and a sprained wrist. We've all been there.

    2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Re: How do you become an expert in matress explosions?

      You get someone to fill you in.

      I was going to repair my leaky alloy wheels with that stuff. But I don't think I will go along for the ride now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How do you become an expert in matress explosions?

        Tyreseal is bloody useless for any job. If your alloys are leaking pop down your local independent tyre depot and ask them to sort it. They'll remove the tyre, wirebrush the corrosion off an apply a wheel rim sealant that does the job right.

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Tyreseal is bloody useless for any job

          Well, not fer nuthin', back in the early 80s I had a TR6 with Cobra slot mags that went porous, as a quick dip in the high tech tub-o-water at *my* local tyre depot showed.

          I used a tyre sealant spray commonly available from Halfords and it worked perfectly, sealed the wheels for years and a tyre change. No leakage whatsoever.

          All I did was follow the destructions on the can.

    3. Euripides Pants Silver badge

      Re: How do you become an expert in matress explosions?

      Turpentine and a hair dryer.

      1. Thorne

        Re: How do you become an expert in matress explosions?

        A large packet of onion rings before bed........

        1. miket82

          Re: How do you become an expert in matress explosions?

          Baked beans does the job for me.

    4. LarsG

      Like the

      Like the German who destroyed a wasps nest in his loft with a blow torch......

      And burnt his house down.

    5. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: How do you become an expert in matress explosions?

      I don't know. But the requisite continuing education sounds interesting.

      I'm not napping, I'm studying.

  2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    Carry on as you were.

    I'm glad everybody's okay, because it means I can laugh like a drain about this. I hope nobody prosecutes him and the insurance covers the costs - he's paid them in comedy gold.

  3. Nifty

    Wot no Youtube?

    There will be soon as someone else tries this in their backyard to earn some Yourtube eyeballs

  4. Rabbit80

    Something not quite right..

    £129,000 for a few doors ripped off their hinges and some smashed windows sounds bloody expensive (even if you factor in hospital treatment costs for some minor cuts and bruises)!

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Something not quite right..

      A little investigation will likely show the property owner owed approximately £129,000 to the bank on the unit.

      Either that or it was a really, really nice place, but I just can't see someone moving into a high end living space and sleeping on an air mattress.

      1. El Presidente

        Re: Something not quite right..,3,614717419.html

        More than a bit of damage!

        1. Rabbit80

          Re: Something not quite right..

          That's a different house to the one in the article linked in the story!

        2. seven of five

          Re: Something not quite right..

          Nope, different house - this one is a proper gas explosion. (with a 59 year old in critical condition).

        3. Mark Broadhurst

          Re: Something not quite right..

          Thats a different story the chap in this one is 41 years old and unnamed, your link is about a 59 year old man and no mention of a air mattress. seems odd there would be 2 explosions in one town in a few days of each other ?

          1. Irony Deficient

            some pictures

            Mark, a few “after” pictures of the “air mattress” house can be seen here.

        4. OffBeatMammal

          Re: Something not quite right..

          that article is talking about a gas explosion and a cigarette... are they one and the same story, or two different ones?

        5. James Micallef Silver badge

          Re: Something not quite right..

          *That photo on El Presidente's link* - Holy Crap!

          WTF is in that tyre sealant stuff? I reckon even if you put a full normal aerosol can on a BBQ in the middle of the room it would do some nasty stuff to the interior but not such structural damage.

          Or else the house is made of cardboard and polystyrene

          EDIT - it's actually a gas explosion - different house, different explosion then?

      2. DPWDC

        Re: Something not quite right..

        "I just can't see someone moving into a high end living space and sleeping on an air mattress."

        I did - 10 week wait for the real bed to be delivered, and given completion dates tend to slide a bit risky placing the order beforehand (seems pointless paying to remove the old knackered bed).

        Perhaps he had similar circumstances...

    2. seven of five

      Re: Something not quite right..

      150k Eur should buy you a quite nice house in something as remote as Diepholz.. He must have taken apart an apartment block. (HA!)

      The "source" is Bild (like the sun, but worse), so it is most probably a blatant lie.

      1. Michael Dunn

        Re: Something not quite right.. @Seven of Five

        At least "Bild" means picture(s), so in Germany you don't have to get the oxymoron "Bild reader" paralleling UK's "Sun reader"!

        (Incidentally, could you get me an introduction to your sibling Seven of Nine?)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Something not quite right..

      Looking at the picture it seems that the roof is FUBARed, so's the external wall and that's not taking in to account any other structural damage.

      £129k seems a sensible rebuild price IMO

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Something not quite right..

        The actual description shows rather more drastic damage than the Reg version:

        "Dabei wurden nach Schilderung von Polizeisprecher Frank Bavendiek vom Mittwoch sämtliche Türen aus der Verankerung gerissen, Fenster zerbarsten, die tragenden Wände erlitten Risse und Ziegel flogen vom Dach. Der Mann kam mit leichten Verletzungen ins Krankenhaus."


        As a result, according to Police spokesman Frank Bavendiek on Wednesday, all the doors were torn from their hinges, windows shattered, load bearing walls suffered cracks and tiles blown from the roof. The man was admitted to hospital with light injuries.

        So the cost is understandable, bit more than just a couple of doors and burst glazing. Bit hard if he does get punished for causing the explosion though. I suspect that that is just the usual, official statement to cover all possibilities.

  5. Gashead

    He was only supposed to blow the bloody bed up

    This is merely a tactic to make us avoid German sunbed areas around hotel swimming pools.

    1. George Nacht

      Re: He was only supposed to blow the bloody bed up

      You need further reasons to avoid large groups of subathing Germans? You have better nerves than me...

  6. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    German humour

    And there was me, only a few hours ago. fostering the stereotype of humourless Germans. This is f***ing hilarious! I'm glad he's not seriously injured.

    1. Ted Treen

      Re: German humour

      "...stereotype of humourless Germans. "?

      I'll have you know that the German sense of humour is no laughing matter.

  7. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Wouldn't have happened...

    ...if we were still allowed to use CFCs in aerosols instead of Butane.

    The scare about CFCs damaging the ozone layer doesn't seem to have been true. But, like the DDT scare, we have banned the material, and we are now paying the price.....

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      Re: Wouldn't have happened...

      I dont know where your pulling that from mate, but since the CFC's have been banned in all developed countries (they are still used in some developing countries but even they are fazing them out) the Ozone Layer has been repairing itself, and the hole is getting smaller.

      I think the last projection I saw said 2025 for complete closure of the hole which is amazing considering that at its peak in the 90's the hole was larger than the size of Antartica and was even affecting South America and Tasmania on occasion.

      So unless you want to provide evidence to attribute that level of increase in atmospheric ozone to the banning of something else, I think you're talking out your ass...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wouldn't have happened...

        I don’t know where you are getting you information from but if anything the ozone hole has been getting larger.

        The average size of the ozone hole in 1985 was 15 million km2, in 2010 it was 25 million km2. The largest size was recorded in September 2006.

        1. lglethal Silver badge

          Re: Wouldn't have happened...

          A very quick look online revealed multiple sources, stating that the Ozone Hole is decreasing in size.

          Try wikipedia or perhaps the one below, its in nice and easy to understand language.

          Although it appears I was optimistic on the closing date which appears to have moved out to 2050 now. But all the sources I just quickly googled say that it is on the mend.

          Would you mind showing your sources?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wouldn't have happened...

            > Would you mind showing your sources?

            No problem.

            TOMS Nimbus-7 (1978 - 1993):

            TOMS Meteor-3 (1991 - 1994):

            TOMS Earth probe (1996 - 2005):

            OMI (2004 - present):

            OMPS (2011 - present):

            TOMS = Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer

            OMI = Ozone Monitoring Instrument

            OMPS = Ozone Mapping & Profiler Suite

            1. 100113.1537

              Re: Wouldn't have happened...

              Basically, the polar "ozone hole" [not actually a hole, but a thinning layer] grows and shrinks on a pretty irregular basis. If you pick your dates (and sources) you can show growing or shrinking to your heart's content. Whether us puny humans have anything to do with it is another matter altogether - CFC's destroy ozone in a lab, but their impact in the upper atmosphere has never been proven [not an easy experiment to do, surprisingly enough].

              Blaming an exploding mattress on the ban on CFC's to address the ozone hole - wonderful piece of El Reg commentary!

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Wouldn't have happened...

                > If you pick your dates (and sources) you can show growing or shrinking to your heart's content.

                That is why I pointed to the data.

                Alternatively, pick a month, any month:

    2. Don Jefe

      Re: Wouldn't have happened...

      Pressurized tire sealants have always been explosive, a least here in the States. There's a lot more than propellant in soda can sized widget that both inflates and seals a punctured car tire.

      Here there are big signs at the mechanics shops telling you to inform them if you've used sealant as a spark from the bead breaker can cause explosion; trashes the tire too...

      1. Ed_UK

        Re: Wouldn't have happened...

        "... trashes the tire too..."

        I believe that's a myth. While I don't have personal experience here, I have read accounts from several peeps who have had the gunk scraped out and the tyre successfully repaired later. Some repair places may have propagated the idea that it's not possible, maybe because they don't know better, or can't be bothered.

  8. Khaptain Silver badge

    Explanation for the explosion

    One single aerosol can was able to create this much damage !!!! Can anyone explain if this really is possible.

    I remember as a kid throwing aersols onto bonfires ( don't try this at home folks) there were little explosions but certainly nothing that could blow a door off its hinges.

    1. Simon Ward

      Re: Explanation for the explosion

      The aerosols you torched as a kid probably didn't have butane as a propellant.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Explanation for the explosion

      he probably created a small MOAB (baby GBU-43/B) - just accidentally the correct stoichiometric fuel/air mixture - that can extract the full chemical energy from all the propellent wheras popping an old aerosol on a fire can sometimes just be a pressure relief with a teaspoon of non-optimally mixed accelerant.

      I did read about a spraycan of air-freshner that was left on a windowsill in the UK - and when a few days of sunshine took it out - that removed the front wall of the house - maybe that was also a pop - then BOOM once the mixture was good/bad enough?

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Explanation for the explosion

        The next Guy Fawkes night really could be one to remember then. ( 1/2 dozen butane filled aerosls and the night goes boom, literally)

        1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

          Re: Explanation for the explosion

          The trick is to insert them in a clay soil pipe with a vent that allows a large air intake just before the ignition. Aparently air fireballs are far more destructive than the good old fashioned WW2 firebombs.

          No idea how they would compare with TNT though.

    3. GBE

      Re: Explanation for the explosion

      Google fuel-air-explosive (FAE) or thermobaric weapon.

      Also known as a poor man's tactical nuclear weapon:

      > They are, weight-for-weight, significantly more energetic than conventional

      > condensed explosives. Their reliance on atmospheric oxygen makes them

      > unsuitable for use underwater, at high altitude, and in adverse weather.

      > Thermobaric explosives, however, cause considerably more destruction

      > when used inside confined environments such as tunnels, caves, and

      > bunkers.

      I worked on fire-control SW for an FAE weapons system years ago. It was basically a large morter shell what was little other than a can of propane/butane with a parachute that you 1) pop open, 2) let mix with air [this is the important part] and 3) ignite. Does all sorts of nasty things to people, buildings, and vehicles but doesn't kill the grass (or so I was told, I never witnessed a live-firing).

    4. David Pollard

      Re: Explanation for the explosion

      I was a bit doubtful at first, however...

      A typical door is 6'6" x 2'6", or 2340 square inches. So a 1 p.s.i. overpressure would exert a force a little greater than one ton; ample to take the door off its hinges. 1 p.s.i. is about 1/15 atmosphere, so corresponds to a temperature increase of about 300/15, or 20 ºC. If there were no heat losses and enough air could get in without causing a draught, how much butane or similar stuff would it take to warm the air in a room by this amount? Not a lot.

      Floors in domestic buildings are built to take an overall working load of around 1.5 kN/m2 plus a similar point load. This is under half a pound per square inch, so it's not surprising that even with a safety factor of two or three above design load buildings can come down in air-gas explosions.

    5. LaeMing Silver badge

      Re: Explanation for the explosion

      I assume it wasn't the aerosol can that exploded, but the inflatable mattress full of air-propellant mix. That would be quite a volume of volatile gas.

  9. Wize

    Lucky it was just his bed

    and not is inflatable friend, or he might have suffered some nasty burns.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. MartinBZM

      Re: Meet the winner... ??

      No, these awards are only awarded POSThumous.

      Nice try, goodbye!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. The First Dave

        Re: Meet the winner... ??

        Not true - Darwin's can also be awarded for those that manage to remove certain parts of their anatomy, or otherwise prevent themselves from being able to procreate.

  11. Blubster

    Talk about

    a Herr raising experience

  12. David 45

    Blow up?

    Good job it wasn't anything of a dubious or embarrassing nature that he was inflating!

  13. HughG

    He should have sprayed it while having sex and yelled," fire in the hole."

    What a ride that would have been!

  14. Winkypop Silver badge

    Oh the humanity!

    Hindenburg re enactment?

    Too soon?

  15. James Pickett


    "heat from the pump ignited the spray's gas"

    It would have had to get pretty hot! Rather more likely to be a spark from the commutator...

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019