The flying pips, shattered shells and wet shrapnel still haunt farmer Liu Mingsuo after an effort to chemically boost his fruit crop went spectacularly wrong.
Fields of watermelons exploded when he and other agricultural workers in eastern China mistakenly applied forchlorfenuron, a growth accelerator.
The report said the farmers sprayed the fruit too late in the season and during wet conditions, which caused the melons to explode like "landmines". After losing eight acres, Liu said he was unable to sleep because he could not shake the image of the fruit bursting. "On 7 May, I came out and counted 80 [burst watermelons] but by the afternoon it was 100," he said. "Two days later I didn't bother to count any more." About 20 farmers and 45 hectares around Danyang were affected. The fruit could not be sold and was instead fed to fish and pigs.
"The horror... the horror..."