Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Brooklyn Man Injured in Bizarre Toilet Explosion

A man in New York is suing after being seriously injured when he flushed the toilet in his apartment to check the water pressure. His was one of four toilets to have exploded at the time.

The water in Michael Pierre’s apartment was back on after having been turned off for maintenance, when he decided to pull the handle to see how it flushed. The toilet reportedly exploded sending shards of porcelain flying like shrapnel in all directions. Pierre, 58, received 30 stitches for lacerations and punctures to his face, arms and legs from the October 2, 2013, blast. He was found unconscious and covered in his own blood.

Three other explosions injuring other tenants reportedly occurred around the same time in the 16-story 275-unit co-op building. Investigators, who continue to search for evidence of foul play, currently theorize that there was an unusually large buildup of air in the system after the water was turned off. Once the water was back on, the pressure became was so great that the air was forced out of the system so violently that it blew up the some of the toilets in the building when they were flushed.

Pierre’s lawyer told reporters, “Obviously there is a serious problem in the building.

The co-op’s lawyer said, “It certainly makes me think twice about flushing the toilet when the water’s been turned off.”

For what it’s worth, Pierre is not taking any chances. He now uses a rope flush his new toilet, which he pulls from a safe distance away from behind the closed bathroom door, and yes, he’s suing.

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