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article imageDaredevil dies after safety net fails

By Lynn Curwin     Apr 25, 2011 in World
Detling - A stuntman performing a "human cannonball" act died following an accident which took place in front of hundreds of people at a show.
A 23-year-old man was taken to hospital by air ambulance after an accident occurred during a performance of Scott May's Daredevil Stunt Show at the Kent county showground in Detling.
"A man taking part in a human cannonball event this afternoon has died after it is believed a safety net failed to engage," The Guardian quoted a Kent police spokesperson as saying. "His next-of-kin have been informed but he has yet to be formally identified."
Rob Hutchinson was watching the show with his wife and two young children.
"The net was already up. He climbed out on top, climbed down into the tube, they gave this countdown then he came out of the tube - he was probably 30 or 40 feet in the air at least," he told the BBC.
"He turned over and then, the last picture I've got of him, you can see the net is flat on the floor, not up in the air, and he is coming down head-first towards the ground. I saw him hit the floor and bounce."
Scott May’s Daredevil Stuntshow has been touring in the UK since 1991. A message on the business' website now states that, due to unforseen circumstances, shows are cancelled until further notice.
To play the human cannonball the performer climbs a ladder and slides into a large barrel.
"Once in position they signal to the crew that they are ready and then remain braced for the explosive propulsion to shoot them out into the fresh air," states the information on the Scott Mays Daredevil Stunt Show website. "They then have to turn whilst in flight and land in the safety net. 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."
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