Chinese Villagers Pilfer Natural Gas Using Huge Bags. Oh, The Hunanity!

Got gas, will travel? Never mind the Beano, villagers from Binzhou in China's northeastern Shandong (not Hunan, sorry) province have come up with an innovative way to steal natural gas: inflate 6-meter (20-ft) long bags with the flammable fuel, then tow the blimp-like bags home. Evidently they've never heard of The Hindenburg.

The practice appears to be longstanding as several Chinese social media news outlets such as SOHU and iFeng have reported villagers employing a similar techniques previously in Binzhou and also in nearby Zibo. What the bags are made of, who can say – no doubt they're leaky as sieves. Sneaking a smoke on the way home is a definite no-no in this case. 

It's not certain exactly who owns the natural gas storage tank the Binzhou villagers are exploiting – it may well be the local power authority, which means the villagers are in effect stealing from themselves. It's also odd that although the iFeng news report dates from July 2014 and Sohu's illustrated expose dates from February of 2012, authorities haven't taken any effective action to halt the pilferage.

Perhaps they're waiting for one careless and/or unlucky villager to set an example for the others. That shouldn't take too long: walking a 20-ft gasbag home is one thing; towing one behind a motorized trike powered by an internal combustion engine is another. It won't take much for the combustion to go from internal to external and for the villager, currently the toast of the town, to be reduced to just toast. (via Shanghaiist