At a time when self-inflicted YouTube traumas seem to abound, U.K. emergency rescue workers were stunned — and ultimately irked — to respond to a call on Wednesday from the creator Jimmy Swingler regarding a video prank that could have been fatal.
Swingler, 22, is one-half of the TGFBro channel alongside fellow creator Romell Henry, whose varied assortment of pranks, stunts, and vlogs have amassed more than 3 million subscribers. In a recent stunt attempt, Wolverhampton-based Swingler and friends mixed seven bags of Pollyfilla — a spackling paste — and poured it around his head, which had been covered with a plastic bag and placed inside a microwave, The Guardian reports, to serve as a mold of sorts.
But after Swingler’s friends failed to free him from the concoction after more than an hour, five officers from the West Midlands Fire Service spent another hour rescuing him. As the prankster crew waited for help to arrive, they were able to feed an air tube into the microwave to help Swingler breathe.
“As funny as this sounds, this young man could quite easily have suffocated or have been seriously injured,” Shaun Dakin, the officer in charge of the crew, told The Guardian. “Taking the microwave apart was tricky, because a lot of it was welded. We video-called our technical rescue colleagues for advice and eventually managed to get him unstuck…It took us nearly an hour to free him. All of the group involved were very apologetic, but this was clearly a call-out which might have prevented us from helping someone else in genuine, accidental need.”
The Fire Service subsequently tweeted its dismay and also released a video in which station commander Simon Woodward begged locals not to put their lives at risk for entertainment’s sake. You can check out a fairly disturbing — though massively-viewed — video in which Swingler recounts the ordeal right here: