'Human Cannonball' Stunt Man Dies After Safety Net Collapses (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Matthew Cranch, 24, died after performing a human cannonball stunt because his safety net collapsed moments before he hit it from 40 feet in the air.

Cranch had worked for Scott May’s Daredevil Stunt Show for two weeks when the incident happened back on April 25, 2011, at the Kent County Showground in the U.K.

However, a spectator's video (below) of the tragic incident has just now been released due to an inquest into Cranch's death, noted The Telegraph.

In the video, Cranch can be seen getting fired out of the giant cannon, but his fatal landing is not recorded.

"It was found that the falsely closed latch was susceptible to opening by movement or vibrations from the firing cannon," mechanical engineer Alex Grimes said in court. "Testing showed if the latch was closed in this false position, movement from the chassis could cause the latch to open. Analysis confirmed that the equipment was heavily contaminated with dirt and debris.

"This could have contributed to the false closure of the latch, but it could have still been achieved if the equipment was clean," Grimes added.

Tommy Austin, an employee of Scott May's Daredevil Stunt Show, told the court: "I checked [the net] was secure by pulling on the metal wire and putting body weight on the net itself. I pulled upwards to check it didn't come away from the hook."

Austin added that he had attached the net many times before, but this was the first time he had done it for the 2011 season.

According to Independent.ie, police said in December of 2012 there would not be any criminal charges.

Sources: Independent.ie, The Telegraph / YouTube Screenshot