'Human cannonball' killed in Kent stunt show

Insp Tony Ball from Kent Police said an audience was present when the incident happened

Related Stories

A "human cannonball" stuntman plunged to his death in an accident seen by hundreds of people at a daredevil show.

Police said a safety net gave way during the stunt at the Kent County Showground at Detling.

The man, 23, had been taken to Maidstone Hospital by air ambulance with multiple head and back injuries.

The accident happened on Monday afternoon at Scott May's Daredevil Stunt Show. Witnesses said the man was launched up to 40ft in the air.

Rob Hutchinson, 42, watched with his wife and two young children as the man came out to perform his stunt to close the first half of the show.

'Head-first'

Mr Hutchinson, a driving instructor from Tenterden, Kent, said: "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 30ft or 40ft in the air at least.

Lorry at the stunt show Scott May's show has been touring in the UK since 1991

"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."

Mr Hutchinson added: "It was like a dummy being thrown..."

He said the crowd had numbered about 2,000 people, including several hundred children.

Another witness, Paul Armstrong, said he thought the stuntman had been "elevated to about 30ft in the air".

Not identified

He said: "When he was approaching the safety net it seemed to collapse to the ground before he hit it."

Insp Tony Ball, of Kent Police, said the force was investigating, the Health and Safety executive had been informed and Maidstone Borough Council would also be involved.

A police spokesman said the dead man, who is understood to come from the Isle of Man, had not been formally identified.

His next-of-kin have been informed.

Scott May's show has been touring in the UK since 1991 in a season which runs from March to September.

As well as the human cannonball stunt, the show also includes pyrotechnics, motorcycle jumps and monster trucks.

Stunts UK Ltd, which is based in St Just, near Penzance, Cornwall, said it had cancelled all shows until further notice.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Kent

Weather

Canterbury

Min. Night 10 °C

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.