A Northamptonshire man who was fascinated with explosives blew himself up after putting a home-made pipe bomb in his mouth and lighting the fuse, an inquest has heard.
Kevin Barnes, 20, of Joseph Priestly Court in Daventry, took the device into his mouth and flicked a lighter as his petrified flatmates and girlfriend looked on.
The bomb, which might have been created using instructions from a book on explosives, then blew up, causing him serious head injuries, and he died on the same day - 13 July, 2002.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, Northamptonshire Coroner Anne Pember said she was satisfied he had not intended to take his own life.
She said complications from a risky medical procedure meant to save him contributed to his death.
Mr Barnes was described as a risk-taker with a history of harming himself and the inquest heard he had a short temper.
His girlfriend, Elizabeth Elliot, said: "My opinion was that Kevin was mucking about but didn't actually mean for the pipe bomb to go off.
"People threatened to go to the police about it but Kevin was Kevin; nobody had the guts to."