[United Kingdom] Human cannonball died in a failed act/performance

Started by Xhanch Studio, April 26, 2011, 12:30:23 AM

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Xhanch Studio

A human cannonball died yesterday after his stunt went wrong in front of a horrified Bank Holiday crowd. The 23-year-old, who had been fired 40ft into the air, plunged headfirst into the ground when his safety net collapsed.



Paramedics were rushed to the Kent County Showground but the stuntman, known by the stage name Max the Manx Crank, died from his injuries in hospital.

A spectator said: “It was awful to see.”



Shocked spectators told last night how they watched in horror as a human cannonball died after plunging 40ft and slamming headfirst into the ground.

A 300-strong crowd, many of them children, looked on helplessly as the stuntman introduced as Max the Manx Crank landed in a heap when a safety net collapsed before he reached it.

Luke Adams, 38, was at Scott May’s Daredevil Stunt Show with his young children. He said: “There was a loud bang. We saw the man shoot out the cannon. He attempted to do a forward roll and get into the foetal position.

“But somehow all the tension in the safety net was lost and all the supports collapsed. He hit the ground headfirst.

“It was horrible.”

Paramedics were rushed to the Kent County Showground in Detling, near Maidstone, Kent, and the man, 23, was taken to the town’s hospital. He is believed to have died shortly after arriving there.

Pictures taken by a bystander show the net appeared to be in position as the man was shot out of the cannon, but it collapsed in seconds when the 7.5 ton truck recoiled from the blast.

By the time he landed the net was flat and he hit the ground hard.

Another horrified onlooker said: “It was awful to watch and I waited around for ages to find out if he was OK but there was no announcement.”

Luke, a multi-media professional who lives near the showground, added: “It wasn’t clear what happened at first, they bill these things as a death-defying stunt and earlier a guy set himself on fire, so you expect a surprise at the end.

“But when the stadium announcer came on asking for the St John ­Ambulance crew to come forward we knew something was badly wrong. The guy wasn’t moving.”



Kent Police confirmed the safety net failed to engage. They said the victim’s family had been informed.

Last night event organisers cancelled their evening performance. Scott May’s show, which also includes monster trucks and motorbike stunts has been touring in the UK since 1991.

On the show website, the dramatic ending of the cannonball routine is described in detail: “Within a few seconds of landing the performer must get down from the safety net before the poles holding the net in position crash to the ground.”

The site last night carried a statement, which read: “With our apologies, due to unforeseen circumstances all shows have been cancelled until further notice.”





Best Regards,
Susanto B.Sc
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