BEIJING, July 20 (RIA Novosti) - A 14-year-old Chinese fan of the Transformer movies has been drinking gasoline for five years in an attempt to "become a valiant fighter" like his hero Optimus Prime, Chinese media said on Monday.
"He started drinking gasoline about five years ago, when we first discovered he enjoyed smelling lighter fuel," Xinhua said citing a local newspaper report.
At the age of nine the boy from the southwestern Chinese city of Yibin began stealing lighters from his mother's grocery stall. After discovering that their son had drunk half a bottle of gasoline from the fuel tank of the family motorcycle "to obtain energy," the worried parents locked the vehicle away.
The boy, however, started emptying the fuel tanks of cars in the neighborhood, gradually increasing the amount of consumed fuel to two or three bottles each day. His concerned family has sought medical advice and a doctor diagnosed the child with a serious mental disorder and "petrol addiction."
"Since my son began drinking fuel, his IQ has dropped sharply and now he can't figure out addition and subtraction within 100," the father told West China Metropolis Daily. "Before that, he was a very smart boy, and he could even repair the television. But now he does not know the answer of 7 plus 17."
Meanwhile, the second movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is breaking box office records in China. The movie, which went on release in China on June 24, has so far earned $58.4 million, breaking the 10-year-old record set by the Oscar-winning film Titanic.
The first Transformers movie was released just two years ago in June 2007.
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