He finds a pebble on the beach and puts it in his pocket... the pebble catches fire and burns him badly
Author: Clark Tos
Focus on the misadventure experienced by a poor onlooker who was walking on the Normandy coast.
This is an incident as rare as it is improbable!
In the middle of a romantic stroll on a beach in Normandy , a man almost involuntarily set himself on fire because of a… pebble.
Indeed, after having picked up what he believed to be a pink pebble on the sand, the unfortunate - named Benoît - then put it in his pocket but it suddenly ignited and his jacket then caught fire. .
Told by our colleagues from France 3 Normandy, the barely believable scene took place in early November on the beach of Saint-Côme-de-Fresné (Calvados).
If his life is not in danger, the man was still seriously burned in the hand and in the leg.
After putting a pebble in his pocket, his jacket suddenly bursts into flames
But how on earth could a stone have caught fire like this? Contrary to what the unfortunate Benoit thought, it was not a pebble but… white phosphorus, from an old bomb from the Second World War.
« When I saw smoke coming out of my pocket, I quickly realized that I had collected phosphorus. I plunged my hand into the pocket but burned my fingers. Time to take off my jacket, my pants had already caught fire “, thus told the walker.
The Utah Beach D-Day Museum (illustration image). Photo credit: Istock
You should know that white phosphorus has the particularity of igniting on contact with air when it is dry. A detail that is important because shortly after Benoît picked up the 'pebble', his wife rinsed it in water. So it stayed wet for a while before drying out and then catching fire in the pocket.
This fragment of a phosphorus bomb was indeed a vestige of the weapons once used by the American army during the landing from Normandy.
The pieces still present on the Normandy beaches are recognizable by their pink, even bright red color.
If you happen to spot any, do not pick them up and notify the gendarmerie or the police.
Benoit would certainly have done it if he had known. This is the reason why he issued an appeal for caution on Facebook.Source : France 3