Searches for gold—Finds ammonia

Here's a case that could be described as what you get when you cross Mythbusters with the Darwin Awards.

A 16-year-old boy living in the Tampa area heard a legend that a pipe that ran under the U.S. 301 bridge was filled with gold. Other people told him that it was actually an ammonia pipe leading to a fertilizer company. So the kid decided to test it out for himself and find out what the truth was:
The anhydrous ammonia that flows through the pipeline from the port to fertlizer companies in Polk County is highly caustic. It causes burns on contact and can cause respiratory distress. The teen was burned when he drilled into the pipeline.
The cousins who were with him told the boy not to break into the pipeline and had turned to leave when they heard a noise as he breached the pipe, Carter said. The boys then went home. When the injured teen's symptoms worsened, he told his mother what had happened, and she called an ambulance.

I bet he next sues the county, claiming they should have put a sign up warning people not to drill into the pipe in search of gold.

Law/Police/Crime Urban Legends

Posted on Sat Nov 17, 2007


So he thought there was money somehow flowing through a pipeline?
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  on  Sun Nov 18, 2007  at  08:36 PM
Why did the cousins start to leave when he started drilling? I bet they knew this kid for years and knew that just saying "do't do that" wouldn't work. They should have taken an active part to try and stop the kid. I bet they had been active in the drilling and decided to quit at teh right time, or they were lucky enough to escape damage and are saying this in order to cover their own rear ends. Who is paying the kid's medical bills? The taxpayers maybe?
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Sun Nov 18, 2007  at  09:37 PM
I'm afraid you're right, the taxpayers will be paying his stupidity...though I think the city or should insist that he be sterilized before they give him a penny...
Posted by MagicFaireDust  on  Mon Nov 19, 2007  at  03:46 AM
What an idiot!
Posted by mr royale  on  Mon Nov 19, 2007  at  08:38 AM
Ha...this happened just a few minutes from me. I didn't hear the back story. Just that I couldn't drive through Riverview. (Not that I go anywhere much these days.)
Posted by Maegan  on  Mon Nov 19, 2007  at  10:01 AM
Cole - there are two very distinct populations in Riverview. The RICH and the POOR. Depending which groups he's in...he may very well be getting help from the state to pay for his medical care. (But then we also have a state funded medical insurance for kids & teens here available to most families anyway.)
Posted by Maegan  on  Mon Nov 19, 2007  at  10:04 AM
You guys are way off. Why would the taxpayers pay for his medical bills? He'll pay for them with the gold!
Posted by RHM  on  Tue Nov 20, 2007  at  06:27 AM
In all seriousness, no taxpayers will be paying for his medical bills unless the kid is really poor, and thus on Medicaid. If he's insured, his insurance company will pay the bills. If he's not insured, he will be billed the full amount for his medical care. Hospitals are required to provide some amount of charitable care, though, so if he can demonstrate an inability to pay, the hospital may foot the bill. It's unlikely, though, that as a minor his family is both unable to pay for his bills and doesn't qualify for Medicaid. Not impossible, but less than likely.
Posted by Natalie  on  Tue Nov 20, 2007  at  11:08 AM
You guys all have it wrong. The kid heard there was Acapulco Gold in the water pipe, and it messed him up for years. No, wait... oh, yeah, that happened to me when I was 16... Never mind. My bad
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Thu Nov 22, 2007  at  04:35 PM
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