There are many ways to die. Getting stuck and slowly dying of thirst, starvation, or suffocation might be the worst of them. Even the people who manage to survive often end up traumatized. Going through such events frequently results in claustrophobia, which is among the most common phobias.
Accidents, where the victims could not be partially blamed, are uncommon because the leading cause of death in these cases is bad decision-making. Think before you act. Also, check out the entries below for tips on how you might survive some of these deadly ways of getting stuck.
Photo credit: vice.com
Although claustrophobia is not related to Santa Claus, it can become oddly fitting when rescuing people who are stuck in chimneys. In most cases, however, people have much darker intentions than leaving presents under the Christmas tree.
Cartoons and fairy tales may have misled people into believing that you can slide down a chimney with ease. In actuality, chimneys are death traps. Several burglars have learned that the hard way.
One such example was a man who was found stuck in the chimney when the homeowner lit the fireplace and heard sudden screams. After extinguishing the fire, he called the authorities. The suspected burglar was dead by the time firefighters got to him.
In a different case, a doctor was found lodged in her boyfriend’s chimney. She had attempted to forcefully enter the house while her boyfriend was away on a trip. A house sitter, who had stopped by to feed the owner’s fish, found her corpse after investigating a strong odor coming from the fireplace.
Typical chimney designs have 1–3 bends or elbows, which can completely stop a person’s descent. Also, the flue at the bottom of the chimney tends to be narrower to ensure quicker smoke movement. This makes getting through highly unlikely.
Chimney-related accidents were especially common in 18th- and 19th-century Britain when chimney sweepers were in fashion. Children usually performed this work and often died because of positional asphyxia, in which body contortion prevents the normal breathing motions of the diaphragm.
Until 1885, the word “stick” did not technically mean the inability to go any farther. So it is possible that the word “stuck,” which was a term used in the trade, originated from people getting jammed in chimneys.