Welcome to the Latitude News Mishmash, our weekly roundup of the weirdest stories the global press has to offer. As usual this week we’ve found the profane and the insane — certainly fodder for conversation around the water cooler.
Good news: the cleaner DID NOT crash the train
After being blamed by local authorities in Sweden and lambasted by the press, a cleaning lady has been cleared of charges that she hijacked a train and crashed it into a house in an affluent neighborhood.
Four headlines from Sweden’s The Local sum up pretty much the whole story.
Wednesday: “Train ‘thief’ not well enough for questions”
Thursday: “Train crash might have been an accident”
Friday: “Cleaner in train cleared of suspicion”
Initially portrayed by the press as a maniacal lunatic who intentionally crashed the train past the last stop on the line and into the suburbs, the cleaning lady is now the lone injured person in an accident that was no one’s fault. Her reputation is sullied, but she is also hospitalized in critical but stable condition.
In the most recent iteration of the story, The Local reports, “After searching her home, and speaking with relatives as well as emergency workers in contact with the woman after the crash, investigators concluded there was no longer any reason to believe she intentionally drove off in the train.”
A prosecutor added the investigation uncovered a series of “‘unfortunate circumstances’ that allowed the woman to put the train inmotion.”
Whatever that means, the woman is in the clear, but only after officials publicly accused her of crashing the train.
“I should have done more to make it clear that there are several possible scenarios,” said one transit official who had previously accused the woman. “Obviously I didn’t do it enough.”
Two-day drinking binge saves puppy’s life
When a 10-week old puppy laps up a puddle of radiator fluid, you can be pretty sure she doesn’t have much of a chance of surviving.
That is unless you have a few bottles of vodka in the medicine cabinet.
When Cleo, an American Staffordshire owned by Australian Stacey Zammit, started swaying after drinking radiator fluid in a garage, ethylene glycol poisoning brought her to the verge of kidney failure. Zammit brought the doomed pup to a local vet, who immediately hooked her up to slow drip of vodka.
Over the course of two days, Cleo drank about a bottle and a half of vodka, straight through her nose. The spirits stopped a chemical reaction that would have led to renal failure, and undoubtedly the puppy’s death. The procedure cost about $2,200 (U.S.)
Zammit was relieved, but the puppy probably doesn’t remember much.
“The next time I saw [the vet],” Zammit told Australia’s News.com.au, “I asked if she was wasted and the vet was like, ‘yeah’. Cleo had really bloodshot eyes and she was pretty unsteady. She couldn’t move around much because she was so wasted.”
After sleeping off what must have been a spectacular hangover, Cleo the pup was good as new.
London Dungeon selling off its “horrible history”
For fans of the macabre, you may want to head to the London Dungeon, while prices are low.
One of London’s most famous tourist attractions is moving locations, and therefore shedding “inventory.” With the new location comes new costumes and props — so out with old, in with the new.
As the Telegraph reports, shoppers can find an “array of torture and surgical equipment,” “severed limbs,” “Sweeney Todd razors” and the odd human skeleton. Ben Stewart, the London Dungeon’s general manager, says the dungeon has a lot of items that need “re-homing.”
“Rather than sell them all off to a theatre prop shop or museum,” said Stewart, “we decided to let fans have a chance to own a bit of our horrible history.”
And you don’t have to be a torture fan to buy something. If you’re a fan of, say, Christina Aguilera, you can find an authentic set of stocks that once held the pop star. Really, there’s something for everyone.