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

http://www.sinchew.com.my/node/102525?tid=2

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][1] 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]: http://www.chinauncensored.com/index.php/real-china/202-womans-lower-body-pierced-by-exploding-computer-chair