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By David Menzies Everyone in the automotive industry surely agrees that the internal combustion engine has wondrously enriched our lives. Indeed, let it be said that this magnificent mechanical device certainly ranks as one of the greatest inventions in the history of mankind... when used properly, that is.
Put another way, a motorized vehicle is a very efficient and fun way to get around town or drive coast to coast. But a motorized vehicle is a very inefficient and unsafe way to eradicate vermin from one's house.
Case in point: according to Pravda, a Ukrainian grandfather accidentally fatally gassed himself and two family members when his attempt to rid his basement of rats went horrifically awry.
The root of the problem: the 72-year-old decided to use his old car, a Soviet-built Zaporozhets, to tackle the rodent infestation. The man carefully affixed a hose to the tailpipe of his not-so-snazzy sedan and then fed the pipe through a window that led to the basement. The wannabe pest control expert then cranked the ignition and let the car idle for several minutes. The idea was to terminate those rascally rodents via carbon monoxide.
Eventually, the dopey DIY exterminator ventured downstairs to see if his scheme was working. Unfortunately, his scheme was working all too well: grandpa was promptly overcome by carbon monoxide fumes and died.
Suspecting something wasn't quite right, the deceased man's 77-year-old-wife also ventured into the basement. She, too, lost consciousness and perished.
Next up: the couple's 29-year-old granddaughter. She also went downstairs to investigate. The woman, like her grandparents before her, fell unconscious and succumbed to the noxious fumes.
About two hours later, a second granddaughter also ventured into the increasingly fume-filled basement. But upon spotting the lifeless bodies of her family members and detecting the carbon monoxide, she did an abrupt about-face. Luckily, she emerged from the subterranean death trap in the nick of time.
While the traumatized woman raised the alarm, it was too late for her family members: her grandparents and sister had all succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning.
It is unknown if any rats perished.