Gassy Cows Cause Barn Explosion
There were 90 of them in the German barn
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 28, 2014 11:31 AM CST
Cows in a barn, but not the barn in question.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

(Newser) – A herd of dairy cows nearly lifted the roof off their barn in central Germany yesterday when methane released by the animals caused an explosion. Police in Hesse state said in a statement that a static electric charge apparently triggered the detonation, and a spurt of flame, at a farm in Rasdorf. The roof was slightly damaged and one cow suffered light burns. No people were hurt. Police say 90 cows are kept in the shed and it wasn't clear why quantities of methane had built up, though bovine belching and flatulence releases large quantities of the gas. (It's not this week's only odd story about passing gas.)

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Showing 3 of 35 comments
westword6
Jan 29, 2014 9:19 AM CST
Greta? Greta, where are you? Have you milked the cows yet? Papa, I'm on the roof! What are you doing up there, Greta? Come down at once! I don't know, Papa. One minute I was milking Hanna, and then she made gas, and suddenly I was up here ...
FarmerMichael
Jan 29, 2014 8:15 AM CST
Most barns and storage sites in farm fires are from dust (particle combustion from a spark and the huge surface area of a lot of airborne dust) or wet hay composting so rapidly it becomes hot, then a fire. One of the fastest growing areas of cost recovery in dairy farms are methane digesters that capture the gas for energy production and stabilize the wastes for fertilizer and "cut" the smell problems. (A trend not fast enough for some dairy neighbors...) Like in humans, cow gas comes often from feeding them foods not suited for their wonderful digestive systems--grains over grass--to get more milk out of the same number of cows. Not their fault...
TwoSheds
Jan 29, 2014 12:37 AM CST
Es werden je nach Region unterschiedliche volkstümliche Bezeichnungen für die Flatulenz verwendet, z. B. Furz, Pfurz, Pups, Blähungen, Fahrn etc., in Österreich auch Schas (auch Schaas geschrieben), die zum Teil als vulgär empfunden werden. Als neutral, aber veraltet, gilt die deutsche Bezeichnung Leibwind. Eine besondere Form der Flatulenz besteht, wenn beim Abgang von Leibwinden ungewollt Stuhl mit austritt (sog. Falscher Freund).