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Static Electricity in Man's Jacket Leads to Burns
Believe It or Not!


The following story appeared in USA Today. It sounds too unbelievable. We think it is. We have never seen 30,000 Volts of static electricity from a person or jacket burn carpet. We believe the guy may have something else going on: Maybe fraud or just maybe too many refried beans plus 30,000 Volts.

Static electricity in man's jacket leads to burns

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - A man shocked authorities after he released so much static electricity from his jacket, he left burn marks in the carpet of a business.

Fire officials in Victoria state said the man, Frank Clewer, had built up at least 30,000 volts of static electricity in his jacket simply by walking around the city of Warrnambool, according to a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

He received his first shock when he walked into a local business Thursday afternoon. "It sounded almost like a firecracker or something like that," Clewer told the ABC.

Burns less than an inch in diameter were left on the carpet where he had been standing, the report said. ABC did not say if Clewer was injured.

Fire officials evacuated the building, fearing the incident might trigger electrical problems, but let Clewer go, the report said.

When he got in his car, Clewer's problems continued.

"I actually scorched a piece of plastic I had on the floor of the car," he said. Fire officials took Clewer's jacket and said it continued to give off voltage.

September, 2005

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