Darwin award candidate

A Russian man died after burying himself alive in a friend’s garden in the Far Eastern city of Blagoveshchensk in an endurance test that went wrong, according to investigators.

The 35-year-old man wanted to test his endurance and asked his friend to help him spend the night buried, according to Alexei Lubinsky, a senior aide to the region’s chief investigator.

The two men dug a hole in the garden and put inside an improvised coffin with holes for air pipes. The man also took a blanket, a bottle of water and a mobile phone.

The victim’s friend told investigators he covered the hole with planks and earth to a depth of around eight inches and then went home, after receiving a phone call from his friend telling him he was fine. The next morning, he found his friend dead.

Investigators speculated that a rainstorm overnight could have blocked the air supply to the coffin.

“We know that the victim was a computer programmer and that he has a small child,” Mr Lubinsky said, adding that he probably was influenced by reading stories about self-burial on the internet.

I’m honestly dismayed by the number of truly stupid risks people take with their lives after reading about inane behavior on the Web. If I strolled around town handing out leaflets suggesting idiotic life-threatening stunts for people to try I’d probably be locked away as a menace.

Deservedly so.

Man hid body in apartment for 10 years

A body lay undiscovered under a sofa in a sheltered flat in Bristol for nearly 10 years, an inquest has heard.

The dead man, Denis Pring, 73, had been living with a city council tenant Alan Derrick, who has learning difficulties.

The inquest heard Mr Derrick did not want to tell the authorities that Mr Pring had died because he was worried he would be evicted…

Mr Pring, a former warehouseman, is believed to have died at some point between April and June 1998…

Mr Derrick, the dead man’s friend and drinking partner, had invited him to stay there because he had nowhere else to go. But when he died suddenly, Mr Derrick panicked and worried that he might be evicted.

He covered up the body with cushions and two armchairs and carried on living in the flat in Bedminster, Bristol, for the next 10 years without reporting the death.

Neighbours complained to the council about foul smells from the flat but although council officers visited twice the body was never found.

Mr Pring’s skeleton was discovered in January 2008 when cleaners were brought in after Mr Derrick was evicted from the flat following a county court order…

The council’s deputy chief executive, Jon House, acknowledged a “more active intervention nine or 10 years ago”, and a ” healthier dose of common sense”, might have led to Mr Pring’s body being found earlier.

Aside from the dude probably being a bit more than slightly round the bend, the fact that fear of becoming homeless should prompt the bureaucrats involved to learn something about their clients.

As we all are.