Czech scrap metal thieves get Darwin Award

The collapsed factory in Kladno, photo: CTK

The Darwin Awards are given for astoundingly stupid judgement leading to self destruction. Named in honour of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, the awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it.

The collapsed factory in Kladno,  photo: CTK
Examples of former winners include people who juggled active hand grenades in Croatia, an American who jumped out of a plane to film skydivers without wearing a parachute himself, and someone in Brazil who used a lighter to illuminate a fuel tank in order to make sure it contained nothing inflammable.

This year’s awards have just been announced – and the Czech Republic is well represented - in third place - by a group of thieves who attempted to steal scrap metal from an abandoned factory in the town of Kladno. Unfortunately for them they selected the steel girders that supported the factory roof. Once they were dismantled the roof collapsed, crushing two of the thieves and badly injuring the remaining three. The Darwin Award of the Year for 2007 went to a young man and woman who fell off the roof of a high-rise building while making love – the “Coitus Interruptus” nomination. It was a pyramid-shaped metal roof and ironically one of the diseased was named Tumbleston. The Darwin Awards home page has devoted a lot of attention to this particular feat, noting that “what goes up must come down” or “if you put yourself in a precarious position when making love you could easily find yourself coming and going at the same time”. A piece of advice worth remembering – and if you’d like to check out more information about the unbelievably stupid things that people did in 2007 and previous years – go to