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This is a bricklayer's accident report, which was printed in the
newsletter of the Australian equivalent of the worker's compensation board.

This is a true story. Had this guy died, he'd have received a Darwin
for sure.........

Dear Sir,

I am writing in response to your request for additional information
in Block 3 of the accident report form. I put "poor planning" as the
cause of my accident. You asked for a fuller explanation and I trust
the following details will be sufficient.

I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working
alone on the roof of a new six-story building. When I completed my work
I found I had some bricks left over which, when weighed later were found
to be slightly in excess of 500lbs, rather than carry the bricks down by hand
I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley, which was attached
to the side of the building on the sixth floor. Securing the rope at
ground level I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks
into it. Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure
a slow descent of the bricks. You will note in Block 11 of the accident
report form that I weigh 135lbs. Due to my surprise at being jerked
off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go
of the rope.

Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the

In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel, which was now
proceeding downward at an equally impressive speed. This explained the
fractured skull, minor abrasions and the broken collar bone, as listed
in section 3 of the accident report form. Slowed only slightly, I
continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two
knuckles deep in the pulley. Fortunately by this time I had regained my
presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of
beginning to experience the pain. At approximately the same time
however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the

Now devoid of the weight of the bricks, that barrel weighed
approximately 50lbs. I refer you again to my weight. As you can imagine I began a
rapid descent, down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third
floor I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles,
broken tooth and several lacerations of my legs and lower body. Here my
luck began to change slightly. The encounter with the barrel seemed to
slow me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of bricks and
fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked.

I am sorry to report however, as I lay there on the pile of bricks, in
pain, unable to move, I again lost my composure and presence of mind and let
go of the rope and I lay there watching the empty barrel begin its journey
back down onto me. This explains the two broken legs.

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There is a song in Ireland sang by the Dubliners that was a hit in the 60s with this very story in it , So I think the press storey is a hoax :D

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