Saturday, June 11, 2011

7 Strange Accidents and Deaths


William Kogut, an inmate on death row at San Quentin, decided to commit suicide using only the rudimentary tools available to him in his prison cell. He began by tearing up several packs of playing cards, giving particular focus to obtaining pieces with red ink (at the time, the ink in red playing cards contained nitrocellulose, which is flammable and when wet can create an explosive mixture), and stuffed them into a pipe. He then plugged one end of the pipe firmly with a broom handle and poured water into the other end to soak the card pieces. He then placed the pipe on a kerosene heater next to his bed and placed the open end firmly against his head. The heater turned the water into steam and eventually enough pressure built up inside the pipe so that when it burst, the explosion shot out bits of playing cards with enough force to penetrate Kogut's skull, killing him. In a suicide note, Kogut stated that he and he alone should punish himself for his crimes.


Inejiro Asanuma, 61, the head of the Japanese Socialist Party, was stabbed to death with a wakizashi sword by extreme rightist Otoya Yamaguchi during a televised political rally. Yamaguchi was immediately arrested and later committed suicide.


John Bowen, a 20-year-old of Nashua, New Hampshire was attending a halftime show at a football game at Shea Stadium on December 9, 1979. During an event which featured novelty and custom-made remote control flying machines, a 40-pound model plane shaped like a lawnmower accidentally dived into the stands with its sharp blades striking Bowen and another spectator and causing severe head injuries. While the other spectator survived, Bowen died in hospital four days later.


David Grundman was killed near Lake Pleasant, Arizona while shooting at cacti for fun with his shotgun. After firing several shots at a 26 ft (8m) tall Saguaro Cactus from extremely close range, a 4 ft limb of the Cactus that was weakened by the gunfire detached and fell on him, crushing him.


Owen Hart, a Canadian-born professional wrestler for WWF, died during a pay-per-view event when performing a stunt. It was planned to have Owen come down from the rafters of the Kemper Arena on a safety harness tied to a rope to make his ring entrance. The safety latch was released and Owen dropped 78 feet (24 m), bouncing chest-first off the top rope resulting in a severed aorta, which caused his lungs to fill with blood.


Dr. Hitoshi Nikaidoh, a surgical doctor, was decapitated as he stepped on to an elevator at Christus St. Joseph Hospital in Houston, Texas on August 16, 2003. According to a witness inside the elevator, the elevator doors closed as Nikaidoh entered, trapping his head inside the elevator with the remainder of his body still outside. His body was later found at the bottom of the elevator shaft while the upper portion of his head, severed just above the lower jaw, was found in the elevator. A subsequent investigation revealed that improper electrical wiring installed by a maintenance company several days earlier had effectively bypassed all of the safeguards.


Phillip Quinn, a 24-year-old from Kent, Washington was killed during an attempt to heat up a lava lamp bulb on his kitchen stove while observing it from a few feet away. The heat built up pressure in the bulb until it exploded, spraying shards of glass. One pierced his heart, killing him. The circumstances of his death were later repeated and confirmed in a 2006 episode of the popular science television series MythBusters.

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