A Fatal Experiment

Georg Wilhelm Richmann, a German physicist working at the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences in Russia, is believed to be the first man in history to be killed in an accident involving electrical experiments or the intentional harnessing of electricity. While attempting to observe the affects of a thunderstorm on an insulated metal rod while leaning out of an exterior door, Richmann was struck by a direct bolt of what is believed to have been an example of the phenomenon known as ball lightning. Striking his forehead and killing him instantly, the electrical surge blew his shoes open, lit his clothes on fire and tore the door off its hinges. The event was observed by an engraver that Richmann had brought to make an illustration of the experiment’s results for posterity.

Submission by Logan Agle. Thank you.

Dyatlov Pass Incident

Nine Russian hikers died under mysterious circumstances in the northern Ural Mountains on the night of February 2nd, 1959, in what has become known as the Dyatlov Pass Incident. The remains of the hikers and their campsite were found on February 26th by a search-party. The campsite was positioned in an empty snowy field rather than near the edge of the adjacent forest, and the tent they had been using had been cut open from the inside. It had also been erected incorrectly, which was not in line with the fact that the group was filled with highly experienced hikers and campers. Their shoes and other belongings had been left inside the tent. The corpses of the hikers were found nearly a mile away, with most of them wearing only socks and underwear. Two corpses were found at the edge of the forest, and three corpses were found to be between the forest and the camp, each at different distances from the campsite. The remaining two corpses were found near a ravine further into the woods, wearing some of the clothing that belonged to other members of the party. Three of the corpses were found to have suffered major skeletal trauma that would require force “similar to that of a severe car-accident”, but showed no external wounds consistent with such an injury, nor was there any forensic evidence of a struggle. One corpse had its tongue, eyes, nose and facial-skin missing. Several pieces of clothing also featured traces of radioactive contamination. A group of hikers about 50 miles south of the incident reported UFO’s in the skies of the same area that night. Soviet authorities officially stated in the conclusion of their investigation that an “unknown compelling force” had caused their deaths and could not find a rational explanation for the event. The area where the incident occurred was blocked to hikers and campers by the government for the next three years. This event remains controversial as far as providing a rational explanation for the incident and it has become popular with conspiracy-theorists, with popular theories ranging from an avalanche to accidental collateral damage caused by a Soviet military test to an encounter with hostile extraterrestrials.

Submission by Logan Agle. Thank you.

A Muscovite killed by iPad


A 17-year-old girl from Moscow died of electric shock in a bathtub when she dropped her iPad connected to the power outlet.

A man filmed his own death

Evgeny Titov, a 29-year-old man from Lipetsk, Russia, was looking at the demolition of a building and filming it with his phone camera, when he was struck by falling debris, which killed him.

Submission by Rik van Doorne.

Zorbing death

Denis Burakov, left, via odnoklassniki.ru
Denis Burakov, left, via odnoklassniki.ru

27-year-old Denis Burakov died from injuries he sustained, while his acquaintance Vladimir Shcherbov, 33, was hospitalized in a critical condition after falling from a cliff (1000 m) in Dombay, Russia. The guys were rolling downhill in an orb while participating in ‘zorbing’.

In 2009, a 47-year-old teacher from Check Republic died in a similar accident while rolling downhill at speeds up to 50km/h, near the eastern Czech town of Trinec.

Man Killed by Car Wheel Thrown from Window

A man in Saint-Petersburg, Russia has died after being hit by a car wheel thrown from an upper window of an apartment building. The wheel landed centimeters from his feet before bouncing up and smashing into his head. The 44-year old was hospitalized with brain injuries and a broken jaw, and died two days later. Police suspect a group of teenagers seen entering the building may be to blame. Several of them were later allegedly seen checking him as he lay on the street, before walking away.

Thanks to Vladimir from Russia for the submission.

Folding Couch Death

An unidentified intoxicated man from St. Petersburg, Russia, was accidentally killed by the folding couch on which he laid following a dispute with his wife. The irate wife kicked a handle that released a folding mechanism for the couch, left the room, and did not return for three hours. The couch had folded away into the wall, trapping the husband within and killing him.

Drowned Retrieving a Toy from Lions

Anton Brieszov was trapped in the lion’s enclosure of Moscow Zoo when the ladder he climbed down to retrieve a toy dropped by his child toppled over. He managed to outrun the lions and climb to safety. He then jumped into a moat surrounding the enclosure and, being a non-swimmer, drowned.

Flying Brick

Olga Gaikovich, a 29-year-old of Syktyvkar, Russia, was killed when a lone brick came loose from an oncoming truck and crashed through the windshield of the vehicle, striking her in the head. The incident, occurring in the Rostov region, was captured on a dash-cam mounted in the vehicle.

SMS Spam Killed Suicide Bomber

An unnamed woman from Chechnya, Russia, intended to detonate a suicide belt near Red Square on New Year’s Eve, in an attack that could have killed hundreds. But a message from her mobile phone operator wishing her a happy new year received hours before the planned attack, triggered her suicide belt, killing her at a safe house.

Too Much Viagra

Sergey Tuganov, a 28-year-old Russian, bet two women that he could continuously have sex with them both for twelve hours. Several minutes after winning the $4,300 bet, he suffered a fatal heart attack, apparently due to having ingested an entire bottle of Viagra just after accepting the bet.

Russian Cop Family Drowned in Feces

Two married police officers from Saratov region, Russia, drowned in feces. A 35-year-old officer whose name was withheld, was repairing the sewer system in his house in the village of Tarkhany. While working, he busted a hole in the 4-meter-deep cesspool, but then suffocated from the fumes rising from it. His wife, who was also a police officer, tried to pull him out, but fainted from of the fumes, fell into the cesspool and drowned.

Self-Burying Death

An unnamed Russian man, 35, from Blagoveshchensk died after burying himself alive. According to his friend, the man wanted to test his “endurance”. The two men dug a hole in the garden and put inside an improvised coffin with holes for air pipes. The man also took a blanket, a bottle of water and a cell phone.

The victim’s friend told investigators he covered the hole with planks and earth to a depth of around 20 centimeters and then went home, after receiving a phone call from his friend telling him he was fine. The next morning, he found his friend dead.

Police speculated that overnight rain could have blocked the air supply to the coffin.

One year before, a resident of the northern Vologda region died after he asked a friend to bury him in the forest in an attempt to lose his fear of death and was crushed by the earth.

Deadly Belief

A Russian who believed he was immortal after surviving a 10,000-volt electric shock in 1992 died after drinking antifreeze. Dmitry Butakov, 42, invited journalists to Lipetsk to watch him survive the feat, but after his second half litre he collapsed into a coma and later died.

Funeral Turns Deadly

Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov, 49, from Kazan, Russia died from a heart attack brought on by the shock of waking up at her own funeral.