Some old news reports "Chinese boy killed when height adjusting mechanism in chair explodes" 1 There are a lot of similar news, all happened in China.

  1. Can this mechanisms explode ?
  2. Is the explosion sufficient to hurt or kill a person ?
  3. Any statistics for number of people killed in any region (and not in China)?
  • I always thought they worked via a spring, not a pneumatic gas cylinder. Fascinating.
    – Paul
    Commented Nov 13, 2012 at 10:34
  • I heard an urban myth about this years ago, though it was in the UK then.
    – Keith
    Commented Nov 13, 2012 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


I had to track down the original story for this, but here's the link to it:


It's in Chinese, so I can't read it without help of the Google Translator. This is a google-translated excerpt (with my own grammatical fixes) of the news article:

Xiaogang felt pain after the accident, and immediately called to tell his father about his injury. Emergency personnel said they rushed to the scene. When they arrived, Xiaogang could still speak, and he was immediately rushed to hospital for treatment, where he eventually died of excessive bleeding.

It is reported that in just one month the Jiaozhou Central Hospital admitted three other patients suffering from similar pneumatic rotary chair explosions. Although their injuries were also to the buttocks, no objects became lodged in the body, and they only suffered minor injuries.

There is another news report of a woman whose chair also exploded, along with descriptions to four other incidences involving exploding chairs, one of them about the young lad who died in the above story:

  1. On 20th April, 2007, in Dinghai district, Zhoushan town of Zhejiang province, the chair on which Ms. Lou was sitting exploded; plastic pieces, timber splinters, and metal washers pieced her body to a depth of 100mm deep.
  2. On 26th November 2007, a 68 years old man was badly injured in similar circumstances.
  3. On 26th March 2008, the chair in front of Mr Lin's computer suddenly exploded while Lin was beside it. Mr. Lin's back and arms were injured and an 150mm long steel rod was ejected and hit the ceiling.
  4. On 14th January 2009, in Jiaozuo, Shandong province, a 14 year old boy was killed by his exploding chair. Doctors told the media that similar explosions had happened on 3 occasions in that month.

So yes, these chairs' pneumatic mechanism can explode, and yes it's possible to die from it. No, there are no significant statistics available, particularly for outside of China. However, from what I have tracked down, there have been at least 8 incidents.

  • 1
    At the other news report (the LiveLeak link), the supposedly exploded chair and the floor have not one spot of blood on them. This is an obvious fake. Furthermore, a different fake story about the same woman offers a photo of the offending chair – and it’s a completely different chair.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 2:29
  • @MετάEd Your investigatory skills are lacking... This story was featured in the Dongnan Daily News, and the images are accurate. Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 18:09
  • 4
    After I posted my comment, you changed the hyperlink. Before the edit, your link is to LiveLeak, who show the woman, and also a blue-and-black chair with back and armrests in a cubicle; after the edit, your link is to ChinaUncensored, who show the same woman, but also a blue-and-silver stool with no back and no armrests in a family dwelling. Did you think I would not notice?
    – MetaEd
    Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 22:31
  • I want to make clear I am not taking a side on the OP's claim, just questioning the reliability of the sources in this answer and therefore the overall reliability of this answer.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 22:33
  • All I did was change an uncredible source to a credible one. I could care less if you noticed my edit or not. I'm not hiding anything. My answer remains the same, if not more expanded. If hospital reports and credible news sources in China are not reliable enough for you, feel free to answer this yourself. Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 22:59

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