Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Human Cannonball Dies (Warning - Tragic Images) - Easter Stunt Goes Wrong

Disclaimer: These images were captured and posted online by the popular Daily Mail Online from the UK. Although the puctures in themselves are not actually very graphic, the implied frame by frame of this tragedy has been broadly criticized.

The stuntman, 23-year-old Matt Cranch from Newquay, Cornwall, was killed when he was fired from a cannon 50ft in the air as part of Scott May's Daredevil Stunt Show at the Kent County Showground.

According to investigators, the recoil from the large cannon barrel appeared to make his safety net collapse.

Families watching the events unfold during the 'Easter Bank Holiday extravaganza' were reportedly horrified by what they witnessed. Cranch suffered massive head and neck injuries when he hit the ground in front of the onlookers.

One witness said, "It was absolutely horrendous. The net collapsed while he was in the air. As the cannon went bang the truck recoiled... As it moved I could see the net drop to the ground... He landed on the grass head first and continued to roll forward but then stayed on his back motionless".

An air ambulance and paramedics arrived at the showground and transported him to Maidstone Hospital, where he died a short time later.

All Scott May stunt shows have been cancelled until further notice while an inquiry into the tragedy is carried out.

According to the Daily Mail, "the first human cannonball act took place in England in the 1870s - since then more than 30 stuntmen have been killed while performing, mostly by missing the net... In one accident, in the 1920s, two performers crashed in mid-air with one breaking his back".

Courtesy of Daily Mail Online

Getting ready: The stuntman climbs up the cannon's barrel for his act which forms part of the Scott May's Daredevil Stunt Show:

Thumbs up: As onlookers watch, the man signals that all is well as he prepares to be shot out of the cannon:

Lift-off: The stunt appears to go to plan as the man is fired into the air from the cannon:

Flying: As the man shoots through the air he looks down towards the safety net:

Disaster: As the man begins his descent, it's clear from the picture that the net has started to collapse:

Tragic: The stuntman lands heavily away from the safety net, seen to his right:

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