A 32-year-old Georgia man lost his leg below the knee after trying to blow up his lawnmower by shooting at it, earning him a rebuke from local authorities, Online Athens reported.
“Yes, it is legal and no, we can’t make people stop doing it,” the Walton County Sheriff’s Department said on its Facebook page. “But why folks, just why?”
Deputies were called to a rural area near David Thomas Presley’s home in Monroe on Sunday after the incident. Presley was with a group of friends when he shot the lawnmower, which was packed with three pounds of an explosive sold under the name Tannerite.
“It is a patented combination of ammonium nitrate and aluminium powder that is supplied as two separate powders that are mixed and shaken to produce an explosive,” local fire Battalion Chief Craig League told the Loganville Local News.
League said the substance is sold in outdoor stores around the area, and has become “extremely popular” in recent years.
“It has become quite common for us to run calls involving Tannerite,” he explained. “Typically two to five calls per week.”
In Presley’s case, he lost his leg when a piece of shrapnel sheared it off. His friends put him in a vehicle and had gotten as far as a nearby driveway when they encountered an ambulance. He was subsequently airlifted to an Atlanta hospital. His current condition is unknown.
League said that the incident was the first of its type, despite the constant calls involving Tannerite.
“Please adhere to the warnings and use this dangerous material with caution or maybe consider other less dangerous hobbies,” he advised.