Suicide by Explosion of Natural Gas: Case Report and Review of Literature

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Natural gas (NG) is used as a home energy supply and, with or without ignition, is rarely misused to result in death. The authors report an unusual suicidal explosive death induced by NG. A huge explosion with resultant fire had blown out a bungalow, with destructive damage predominantly above the ground, resulting in only 1 exterior wall and the foundation still in place. The victim was transferred to the hospital, and on the way, he admitted to undoing the natural gas fitting and to igniting the source. He survived for a short interval of time in the hospital before all resuscitative efforts failed. During autopsy, a special attention was paid to victim's identification and search for other injuries, not related to the explosion, so as to exclude or document homicidal injuries disguised by the subsequent explosion. The forensic pathologist should be aware of the different kinds of inflammable substances and integrate the findings with the scene information and the impression of the investigators at the scene.

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