Taking a nap right before work or during a lunch break is a great way to make sure you aren’t tired or grumpy and are able to perform your tasks as well as possible. But for a man in San Leandro, California, getting a bit of extra shuteye nearly cost him his life. Last Friday, Jose Castillo, 62, was almost killed when an explosion tore his new car apart with him inside.
Workers at Alaco Iron and Metal were recycling a propane tank and didn’t realize that wasn’t completely empty, according to fire officials at the scene. When it exploded, it flew 100 yards into the back of a sleeping Castillo’s car, leaving it blown up and melted. Miraculously, he made out much better than his car and suffered only minor scrapes.
“I want to thank God for that miracle,” Castillo said when he revisited the scene. “I’m a little bit shocked. But I’m alive. Thank God.”
Paul Tavares, a project manager at Bayfab Metals where Castillo works, echoed that sentiment.
“He’s lucky he’s alive,” Tavares said.
The incident took place early in the morning at around 7:15 a.m., so it might come as no surprise that Castillo was getting some extra sleep.
“I was sitting in my office and felt an explosion,” Tavares said. “The building shook, I thought a truck hit it…We came outside and I thought it (the Honda) was an abandoned car. I didn’t know it was my employee’s car. When I walked up, I was in shock. When I saw him standing there I was in shock that he still was alive. ”
Though cases like this are extremely rare, those who say that napping isn’t a good idea might point to this and say, “I told you so.” However, nappers needn’t fret, grabbing a few minutes of extra sleep is a good idea, and isn’t just reserved for growing toddlers and college kids after a long night out. In fact, JFK, Thomas Edison, and Eleanor Roosevelt all took naps regularly. The biggest difference between them and Castillo — besides their fame and influence — is the fact that they generally didn’t sleep next to explosives.
From now on, Castillo might just try to go to bed earlier in the night, rather than wait until he gets to the parking lot, to get all of the sleep he needs. But regardless of his napping habits, he is lucky to be alive.
“We should let him go buy the Lotto ticket,” Tavares added.