A Real Gas Station Fire Caused By A Mobile Phone?

from the hmmmmmm... dept

For years, we've been told that all those stories that get passed around by email forwards about exploding fuel pumps due to a ringing mobile phone are simply urban legends. However, now, the Associated Press is reporting a story that sounds remarkably like that urban legend. Has the urban legend become true or was a reporter taken in by a hoax? It appears the Poughkeepsie Journal has the original story, including some quotes from both the "victim" and the fire chief.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2004 @ 5:15pm

    I thought MythBusters disproved that

    The MythBusters (Discovery Channel show) tried all sorts of tests, and found that (a) cell phones don't create sparks and (b) the fuel-air mixture is highly unlikely to be right to ignite.

    http://dsc.discovery.com/schedule/episode.jsp?episode=2&cpi=24344&gid=425&channel=DSC

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Nate, 16 May 2004 @ 10:19am

      Re: I thought MythBusters disproved that

      I haven't seen that episode yet...think it's on the god device (TiVo) currently though.

      One thing I do know is that a Sprint PCS phone that I had a several years ago had a spark glow internally every time it rang (was pretty audible most of the time as well).

      Most of the stuff on the show is neat to see, but some of the conclusions are brought on too quickly without attempting to exhaust even a majority of the possibilities. They are much better at proving that something "can" be done rather than something "can't" be done. Very entertaining show nonetheless.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        anonymous coward, 16 May 2004 @ 10:24pm

        Re: I thought MythBusters disproved that

        You should have seen it though. They really went out of their way to make something blow up. I believe the phone they used was actually a sprint pcs.

        Based on the article, it sounds to me like something else was going on. And the fire department like any other civil servants have little incentive to really dig when there's a simple somewhat plausible answer staring them in the face. Doesn't matter how impossible, if people will believe it, that's one less job they have to do.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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