Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Did Farts Set Off Busch Stadium's Methane Detector During the 2011 World Series?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge FLICKR/BRIAN & JACLYN DRUM

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson blames "off-gassing," (translation: stinky farts) for triggering one of Busch Stadium's methane detectors during the 2011 World Series.

Jenkerson speculates that White Castle or Courtesy Diner was responsible for the "raised methane levels" (translation: fartpocalypse) that developed in the photographer's pit along the third-base line.

"The camera pit is so crowded, and there are so many photographers. There's so much equipment," Jenkerson says, "And the meters are waist-high, and if someone off-gasses, it's going to take a hit."

See also: Best and Worst Cardinals' World Series Memories

Was Rally Squirrel just fleeing a toxic cloud of White Castle-induced methane? - VIA
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  • Was Rally Squirrel just fleeing a toxic cloud of White Castle-induced methane?

But can a fart -- or even many farts -- actually fool a device as sophisticated as a methane detector? Daily RFT reached out to Bill Hanway, a technical specialist for California-based Safety Systems Technology, a company that manufactures various industrial gas detectors.

"It seems preposterous," Hanway says. Methane, he explains, is a very light gas, and so it would dissipate almost immediately in the open air of the stadium. "They've got to be sure the methane detectors are calibrated probably," he adds.

Jenkerson concedes that other factors could have helped trip the alarm. However, the fire chief stood by his theory and suggested that the cold, damp weather made the photographer pit's collective farts reach critical density.

See also: 9 Most Cringe-Worthy Cardinals Fan Songs of All Time

We may never conclusively know who or what set off the meter two years ago, but it makes you wonder: In 2011, the Cardinals went 2-1 at the flatulence-filled Busch Stadium; this year, without those "raised methane levels," the Redbirds went 1-2. Just sayin'.

(Note: Daily RFT would like point out that the Post Dispatch first broke this story, and so all "He who smelt it" accusations should be directed that way.)

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at

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