Field of Science

TMI Friday: Remember, Remember

This week, fireworks will pepper the skies across England. Now, how does the old poem go ?

Remember Remember the 5th of November, 
Gunpowder treason and plot,
I know of no reason
To celebrate Gunpowder treason
By sticking fireworks 
In the place the sun shineth not !

Our story this week focuses on an electric welder who had been suffering from depression. She had made four suicide attempts towards the end of October, but the one we are most interested in is her fifth (unsuccessful) attempt.
She had bought a set of "Sky Rockets" for this attempt. These contain propellant, which allows the rocket to go into the sky, and a bursting charge to spread out and create that characteristic "Firework" pattern. The tip of the firework was around 4cm in diameter. On the night of the 4th of November, this lady decided that she wanted to go out with a bang.

Picture taken by Peripitus

She inserted the firework 5 cm into her vagina and lit it. The firework did not kill her when it exploded, in fact it did surprisingly little damage. She managed to remove some of the shell fragments herself before she went to hospital (No doubt in terrible agony). She sustained some nasty burns to her peritoneum, buttocks and genitalia. Luckily, the firework didn't pierce here abdomen, and caused surprisingly little damage to her internal organs. In fact, over the next 8 months the patient made a full recovery, and received psychiatric help.

Be safe this Guy Fawkes Night. Don't return to firework after it's lit, Always make sure you are at a safe distance from the firework, and please, please don't insert a lit firework into any of your orifices.

Weiler-Mithoff E.M., Hassall M.E. & Burd D.A.R. (1996). Burns of the female genitalia and perineum, Burns, 22 (5) 390-395. DOI:

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