We have another entry in our continuing annals of exploding boules.
Today Paris Match reported that a family was having a cookout early this afternoon in Boulou, a small village near Perpignan. The barbecue grill had been set up in the garden and a 31-year-old man was doing the cooking. Unknown to him, a petanque boule had been left inside the grill and forgotten. The heat of the fire caused the boule to explode. Fragments of the exploding boule struck the man in the head— he was dead by the time a doctor arrived on the scene.
No information about the boule was reported (although we do have one photograph), but I will nevertheless speculate that it was a cheap leisure boule similar to the boule that killed a Thai player in 2017 when it was heated. In any event, it is becoming increasingly clear that boules and heat do not mix. So, for you folks out there who play during wintry weather and heat your boules, the moral of this story is— Be aware that what you’re doing can be very dangerous, and please be extremely careful.
L’Independent has published a photo of the remaining part of the boule.
An English-language story by “Peter Allen” that appeared on various web sites, including the website of the Daily Star asserted that “There are no other known examples of anyone being killed by an exploding petanque ball.” That is incorrect. In September 2017 a player in Thailand was killed when a boule exploded while he was heating it on a stove. Allen’s story also asserts that in July 2017 a petanque ball left in a fire pit on an unidentified beach exploded, injuring a teenager. I cannot verify that story, and I wonder if it might be a garbled account of the incident in Thailand.