COWPATH, Iowa (ABSNN) - An "apparently" booze filled, 87-year-old WWII veteran playing Santa, exploded Sunday afternoon, killing himself, and injuring 27 men and women who were waiting in line to have their pictures taken in his lap. According to one surviving witness, "Santa had been very naughty, consuming at least 12 shots of 101 proof Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey, and when he lit his pipe, he blew the VFW Hall the hell up!"
Firefighters from six surrounding districts responded to the conflagration with ladder trucks to extinguish the blaze, and ambulances to carry the injured to area hospitals.
"The ladder trucks were necessary because five of the victims had been blown through the VFW Hall roof and onto grain silos two blocks away," said a British tourist, Valdo Armfeetandtoe, who was visiting Cowpath's famous "Little Cow Patty House on the Prairie," the historic home of novelist Laura Ingles.
"The explosion knocked me wonky," said Armfeetandtoe.
The names of the injured have not been released, but reporters were given the name of the blown-up Santa: he was Chris Kringle.
According to Cowpath's new Fire Chief, Mitt Romney, this is not the first time the VFW Hall has been blown up or burned down.
"The first time the old codgers blew the place up was in 1976, just before the Bi-centennial fireworks display when Ed Johnson kicked over an illegal, cooking moonshine still that ignited 1776 pounds of fireworks stored in the back room. But this one was the first explosion to injure more than ten people," Romney said.
"At least, I'm certain to have a steady job here in Cowpath," said the new Fire Chief.
We will keep you informed.