It’s the sort of firestarter stinker that may have the power to make even Stephen King cringe in horror.

As initially reported by the English-language version of Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, a female patient in her 30s suffered severe burns during a surgical procedure performed at Tokyo Medical University Hospital in April 2016. Reportedly, doctors had been using a laser near the woman’s cervix when she let out a fart. The laser then ignited the gas released from the fart, which caused a fire, engulfing the woman’s body, particularly her waist and legs. In a report released October 2016 by the hospital, Asahi Shimbun reported, a committee of outside experts ruled out any other potential causes, such as other flammable materials in the operating room.

“When the patient’s intestinal gas leaked into the space of the operation [room], it ignited with the irradiation of the laser, and the burning spread, eventually reaching the surgical drape and causing the fire,” the report concluded.

If you’re feeling a bit skeptical about whether such a thing could even happen, you’re not the only one. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Los Angeles surgeon Dr. Michael Zadeh raised some concerns about the incident’s plausibility.

“I perform a lot of colorectal and anal surgeries and this has never happened,” he said. "It would take more than the usual amount of methane in the colon to cause such severe injury."

He added that it wasn’t entirely out the realm of possibility, but only under very specific circumstances aside from a simple fart. “All instances that I have heard of have involved cases of bowel obstruction where there is a build-up of methane gas. I doubt that this was the only factor in the story.”

That being said, surgical fires do happen regularly, if rarely, enough. According to a 2006 ABC News article, more than 100 operating room fires occur annually in the U.S., and there’s no shortage of similarly strange case reports published in medical journals. Unlike the Tokyo story, though, most surgical fires happen during head or neck surgery, and most often because of oxygen used during the procedure, not naturally produced methane. The increased presence of surgical lasers during these types of surgeries has been noted as a major risk factor, however.

Despite the details that surround the story, the surgery mishap brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “silent but deadly.”