Woman ignites self at gas pump.

Who’s the bigger dumbass here. Brianna Sanchez, who “fiddled” with her cigarette lighter as she pumped gas, or Sgt. Jackie Budd, who called it a “freak accident?”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19884050/from/RS.4/

She is a freak, obviously born without a lick of common sense, and it was an accident that happened to her because of this lack. Hence, a “freak accident.”

I don’t understand what’s supposedly stupid about calling it a freak accident. My impression is that he meant that as opposed to it being a deliberate act. Being a very stupid thing to do doesn’t mean the woman intended to start a fire.

To me, “freak accident” implies wildly improbable. Setting off a gas explosion with a lighter at a gas station is hardly wildly improbable.

(paraphrased from George Carlin from the album Class Clown)

There was a freak accident on the highway today. Three freaks in a camper crashed into two freaks in a van!

I agree that it’s stupid. But, I seem to recall back in the old days, when gas jockeys pumped your gas for you, it wasn’t uncommon for them to be smoking. Yea, I know there’s signs all over the place now and all.

I would say that he probably meant “she didn’t intentionally set herself and the place on fire” However, if she is that dumb she doesn’t need to be in control of a moving vehicle. Or anything else.

I’ve had a bad burn, but not on my face. I hope her idiocy doesn’t scar her for life.

$5 says she sues either the gas station or the lighter company, or both.

Its more probable than her hearing The Doors “Come On Baby, Light My Fire…!” from the radio of a car at a neighboring pump in 2007…

I agree.

Actually, I’ll go with the others who have no trouble seeing the use of the term ‘freak accident’ as being appropriate.

What the woman did was stupid - no question. Gross, Darwinian-grade stupid, even.

But, for all that gasoline vapors are highly inflammable, generally it’s very hard to get the concentrations necessary for an explosive ignition in an open air situation. If she’d been sparking the lighter right at the point where the gas vapor is escaping from the tank as she filled it, I’ll admit that it would be a probable ignition and explosion. But even a foot or two from there, I’d put the odds at much lower: hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands to one against ignition.

And those odds are what I’d consider freakish odds.

Mind you, when the jackpot is an explosion in your face, and burning, I wouldn’t play those odds myself at all.

Having been one of those old days gas jockeys (The town I was working in had made self-service pumps illegal. For ahem safety reasons.) I never saw the gas jockeys lit up while pumping gas. Those that smoked always did so away from the pumps.

No the guy who freaked me out was the asshole who wouldn’t wait for me to fill him up, and filled himself up, while smoking a stogie. Knocking off glowing ashes onto the petroleum stained concrete at his feet. With the town ambulance, and it’s lovely oxy tanks, in the next bay over…

How hot do tobacco leaves burn, anyway? I can imagine it being a lower temperature than the butane of a lighter or the phosphorus mix of a match. It might be safer to have a lit cigarette near the pumps than it is to light a cigarette near the pumps.

AIUI, when inhaling through a cigarette the temperature can get insanely high. One of the hazards with R-12 refrigerant is that when it passes through that high temperature regieme the otherwise harmless gas becomes toxic phosgene gas. The number I remember from my training was 1200F.

But that’s a very specific place and situation. In general, a smoldering ciggy isn’t that hot.

She can’t be too stupid. She obviously didn’t watch Zoolander.

:smiley:

…Hey! :frowning:

HEY! Also! :slight_smile:

She didn’t watch *Dumb & Dumber * either

I agree. Few, if any,grease monkeys/gas jockeys smoked while actually pumping gas. While working on cars, it seemed to be a requirement, however.

Exactly. People have done stupider things and deserved to be burned to a crisp, but didn’t. I saw a guy pump his gas while smoking a cigarette and he didn’t ignite the fumes. It’s a lot harder for that to happen than people think. But it is possible, hence the warnings not to do it.