St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson blames "off-gassing" 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" 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."
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.
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'.
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