Wednesday 7 December 2016

Human cannonball killed after just two weeks in job

Dean Gray in London

Published 27/04/2011 | 05:00

Matt Cranch pictured moments before his death
Matt Cranch pictured moments before his death
A safety net failed during a cannonball stunt at Scott May Daredevil Show at the County Showground near Kent yesterday

THESE are the sad last moments of a 23-year-old man killed when a human cannonball stunt went wrong yesterday.

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Last night it emerged that Matt Cranch had only been performing as a daredevil for two weeks.

Mr Cranch was performing before thousands of spectators in the Scott May Daredevil Show at the County Showground near Kent in south east England when the net that was supposed to break his 40ft fall suddenly collapsed.

Police and safety investigators were last night examining whether the net was ripped from its mooring when the truck holding the cannon lurched backwards as it was fired.

One theory being explored was that the brakes on the lorry had failed or were not engaged properly at the time of the stunt.

Officers said they would also be examining what training Mr Cranch had undergone before he started performing.

Friends of Mr Cranch, who was originally from the Isle of Man, said he had lived for adventure and had been overjoyed at landing his dream job.

Performing under the stage name Matt 'the Manx' Crank, he left his job as a hotel barman in Newquay, Cornwall, just a fortnight ago to begin touring with the stunt show.

Mr Cranch's former boss at the Watergate Bay Hotel, Will Ashworth, said he had been a very popular member of staff who left to pursue his dream.

A former flatmate, who would only identify herself as Amy, said: "He was a very adventurous and fun-loving guy and will be sadly missed by everyone.''

Irish Independent

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