La Jabraille & Co (non_chieda) wrote in little_details,
La Jabraille & Co

Injuries from Falling Bookshelf

Setting: "between the years 1956 and 1967" in a respectable part of London—there's some leeway RE the dates (since the year of the scenario is not given) and location ("London" is as specific as it gets), but I'm inclined to think it takes place in the early 1960s.

In the piece I'm working on, a character is doing research in a university library when a bookshelf falls on him. (I already have a pretty good idea about how that works. It's one of those free-standing thingummies bolted to the floor at each end, but someone sabotaged the bolts and levered up the bottom to make it fall.)

What kind of injuries would the character sustain? He's an adult male (27) with a very light build (borderline anorexic), not much in the way of fat or muscle. The bookshelf is free-standing, one of those double/back-to-back types, made of a nice solid hardwood. This particular shelf falls AWAY from its parallel brethren into the empty space at the end of the stacks. Both sides of the bookcase are full of literature anthologies, probably hardcover. (Ideally he's still conscious afterwards, or only briefly unconscious, but I'm flexible.)

I've searched Google with a zillion variations on "injuries from falling bookcase/bookshelf," "what kind of injuries result from a falling bookshelf/bookcase," etc. All of the results that give actual injury details are about young children. Then I tried "a bookshelf fell on me/her/him," which yielded one useful story about a woman knocked unconscious by a falling bookcase, but the injury details are sketchy AND it was a smaller bookshelf filled with DVDs. There's also a delightful court transcript from the 1930s which is ALMOST helpful but not quite.
Tags: 1950-1959, 1960-1969, uk: london, ~medicine: injuries (misc)

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