beware of static electricity

I saw this in the Bangkok post today (from the weekend’s paper). I
don’t know if it’s true… it seems a bit far fetched to me but who
knows – maybe it’s possible.
[Bangkok Post, September 18, 2005, page one, section one]

“Man’s Static Charge Scorches Carpet (from Sydney Reuters)
An Australian man built up a 40, 000 volt charge of static electricity
in his clothes as he walked, leaving a trail of scorched carpet and
molten plastic and forcing fire-fighters to evacuate a building.
Frank Clewer, of the western Victorian city of Warrnambool, was
wearing a synthetic nylon jacket and a woollen shirt when he went for a
job interview. He was oblivious to the growing electrical current that
was building up as his clothes rubbed together.
The electrical charge ignited the carpet, forcing an evacuation.”

I don’t know. It seems like something out of the “National Enquirer”
to me. My question is, what sort of shoes was he wearing?

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