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Imported largest version from the history of the article on Wikipedia. Many other valid things were added, and a few bad ones removed, but hard to sort it out since some stubborn deletitionists kept mass deleting everything they could and arguing nonstop on the talk page until everyone else just gave up trying to reason with them. See Wikipedia:List of unusual deaths for the current article, and all the superior versions in its long history.

This is a list of unusual deaths. This list contains unique or extremely rare circumstances of death recorded throughout history. This list also includes less rare, though still unusual, deaths of prominent people.

Antiquity Edit

Script error

  • c. 620 BC: Draco, Athenian law-maker, was smothered to death by gifts of cloaks showered upon him by appreciative citizens at a theatre on Aegina.[1]
  • 6th Century BC: Legend says Greek wrestler Milo of Croton came upon a tree-trunk split with wedges. Testing his strength, he tried to rend it with his bare hands. The wedges fell, trapping his hands in the tree and making him unable to defend himself from attacking wolves, which devoured him.[2]
  • 564 BC: Arrichion of Phigalia, Greek pankratiast, caused his own death in order to win the olympic finals. Held by his unidentified opponent in a stranglehold and unable to free himself, Arrichion's trainer shouted "What a fine funeral if you do not submit at Olympia!". Arrichion then kicked his opponent with his right foot while casting his body to the left, causing his opponent so much pain that he made the sign of defeat to the umpires, while at the same time breaking Arrichion's own neck as the other fighter was still strangleholding him. Since the opponent had conceded defeat, Arrichion was proclaimed victor posthumously.[3]
  • 270 BC: Philitas of Cos, Greek intellectual, is said by Athenaeus to have studied arguments and erroneous word usage so intensely that he wasted away and starved to death.[5] Alan Cameron speculates that Philitas died from a wasting disease which his contemporaries joked was caused by his pedantry.[6]
  • 4 BC: Herod the Great reportedly suffered from fever, intense rashes, colon pains, foot drop, inflammation of the abdomen, a putrefaction of his genitals that produced worms, convulsions, and difficulty breathing before he finally died.[10]
  • 415: Hypatia of Alexandria, Greek mathematician, philosopher and last librarian of the Library of Alexandria, was murdered by a Christian mob that ripped off her skin with sharp sea-shells. Various types of shells have been named, including clams, oysters and abalones. Other sources claim tiles or pottery shards were used.[19]

Middle Ages Edit

  • 762: Li Po (Li Bai), Chinese poet and courtier, supposedly tried to kiss the reflection of the Moon beside the boat in which he was travelling, fell overboard and drowned.[20]
  • 892: Sigurd the Mighty of Orkney strapped the head of his defeated foe, Máel Brigte, to his horse's saddle. The teeth of the head grazed against his leg as he rode, causing a fatal infection.[21]
  • 1387: Charles II of Navarre, after having been wrapped in bandages soaked in brandy in an attempt to cure an illness, was burned alive when a servant accidentally set the bandages on fire.[26]

Renaissance Edit

  • 1514: György Dózsa, Székely man-at-arms and peasants' revolt leader in Hungary, was condemned to sit on a red-hot iron throne with a red-hot iron crown on his head and a red-hot sceptre in his hand (mocking his ambition to be king), by Hungarian landed nobility in Transylvania. While Dózsa was still alive, he was set upon and his partially roasted body was eaten by six of his fellow rebels, who had been starved for a week beforehand.[29]
  • 1601: Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer, according to legend, died of complications resulting from a strained bladder at a banquet. As it was considered extremely bad etiquette to leave the table before the meal was finished, he stayed until he became fatally ill. This version of events has since been brought into question as other causes of death (murder by Johannes Kepler, suicide, and mercury poisoning among others) have come to the fore.[30]
  • 1658: On July 22, a Madrid stable boy in the service of the Marquis of Tavara was killed by the first coachman's wife when she discovered that he was having premarital sex. She "grabbed him from the lesser parts, and first she let go, he fell dead on the ground, making blood gush out of his mouth, ears and noses, exiting with the testicles on the hand".[32]
  • 1673: Molière, the French actor and playwright, died after being seized by a violent coughing fit, while playing the title role in his play Le Malade imaginaire (The Hypochondriac).[38]
  • 1687: Jean-Baptiste Lully, the French composer, died of a gangrenous abscess after piercing his foot with a staff while he was vigorously conducting a Te Deum. It was customary at that time to conduct by banging a staff on the floor.[39]

18th century Edit

  • 1771: Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden, died of digestion problems on 12 February 1771 after having consumed a meal of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, smoked herring and champagne, topped off with 14 servings of his favourite dessert: hetvägg served in a bowl of hot milk.[44] He is thus remembered by Swedish schoolchildren as "the king who ate himself to death."[45]
  • 1783: James Otis, Jr., the American revolutionary, "often mentioned to friends and relatives that ... he hoped his death would come from a bolt of lightning." His hope was fulfilled on May 23, 1783 when lightning struck the chimney of a friend's house in whose doorway he was standing.[46]
  • 1794: John Kendrick, an American sea captain and explorer, was killed in the Hawaiian Islands when a British ship mistakenly used a loaded cannon to fire a salute to Kendrick's vessel.[47]

19th century Edit

  • 1814: London Beer Flood, seven people were killed (some drowned, some died from injuries, and one succumbed to alcohol poisoning) when Script error of beer in the Meux and Company Brewery burst out of its vats and gushed into the streets.[48]
  • 1816: Gouverneur Morris, an American statesman, died after sticking a piece of whale bone through his urinary tract to relieve a blockage.[49][50]
  • 1862: Jim Creighton, a very early baseball player, died when he swung a bat too hard and injured himself, possibly by rupturing his bladder.[53]
  • 1871: Clement Vallandigham, a lawyer and Ohio politician, was demonstrating how a victim may possibly have shot himself while drawing a weapon from a kneeling position when he shot himself in the process. Though the defendant, Thomas McGehan, was ultimately cleared, Vallandigham died from his wound.[57]
  • 1877: David Lunt, an early resident of Deadwood, South Dakota, was accidentally shot in the forehead during a Saloon fight between a man named Tom Smith and Town Marshal Con Stapleton, who was trying to disarm him. Even though the bullet passed through Lunt's brain and left open and exit wounds in his head, he remained conscious the whole time and suffered no pain. Lunt then resumed his life as usual until he suddenly felt a terrible headache and died 67 days after the incident. An autopsy found that Lunt had died as a result of the shot, but could not determine a reason for why he survived for such a long time.[58][59]

20th century Edit

1900s Edit

  • 1903: Ed Delahanty, the Hall of Fame outfielder, died under mysterious circumstances when he was swept over Niagara Falls. He was apparently kicked off a train by the train's conductor for being drunk and disorderly. After getting kicked off the train, Delahanty started his way across the International Bridge and fell off the bridge.[61]

1910s Edit

  • 1911: Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel, a famous American distiller, died from blood poisoning as a result of an infection in one of his toes. The toe became infected after he damaged it while kicking his safe in anger because he could not remember the combination.[62]
  • 1912: Franz Reichelt, tailor, fell to his death off the first deck of the Eiffel Tower while testing his invention, the overcoat parachute. It was his first ever attempt with the parachute.[63]
  • 1916: Grigori Rasputin, Russian mystic, was reportedly poisoned, shot in the head, shot three more times, bludgeoned, and then thrown into a frozen river after being castrated. When his body washed ashore, an autopsy showed the cause of death to be hypothermia; however, some now doubt the credibility of this account. Another account said that he was poisoned, shot, and stabbed, at which time he got up and ran off – and was later found to have drowned in a frozen river.[64]
  • 1919: In the Boston Molasses Disaster, 21 people were killed and 150 were injured when a tank containing as much as 2,300,000 US gal (8,700,000 L) of molasses exploded, sending a wave travelling at approximately 35 mph (56 km/h) through part of Boston, Massachusetts, United States.[66][67]

1920s Edit

  • 1920: Ray "Chappie" Chapman, shortstop for the Cleveland Indians baseball team, was killed when a submarine ball thrown by Carl Mays hit him in the temple. Chapman collapsed at the plate, and died about 12 hours later. He remains the only baseball player killed by a pitched ball.[68]
  • 1920: Dan Andersson, a Swedish author, died of cyanide poisoning while staying at Hotel Hellman in Stockholm. The hotel staff had failed to clear the room after using hydrogen cyanide against bed bugs.[69]
  • 1920: Alexander I, King of the Hellenes, was taking a walk in the Royal Gardens, when his dog was attacked by a monkey. The King attempted to defend his dog, receiving bites from both the monkey and its mate.[70] The diseased animals' bites caused sepsis and Alexander died three weeks later.
  • 1923: Frank Hayes, a jockey at Belmont Park, New York, died of a heart attack during his first race. His mount finished first with his body still attached to the saddle, and he was only discovered to be dead when the horse's owner went to congratulate him.[71]
  • 1923: Martha Mansfield, an American film actress, died after sustaining severe burns on the set of the film The Warrens of Virginia after a smoker's match, tossed by a cast member, ignited her Civil War costume of hoopskirts and ruffles.[74]
  • 1925: Zishe (Siegmund) Breitbart, a circus strongman and Jewish folklore hero, died after demonstrating he could drive a spike through five one-inch (2.54 cm) thick oak boards using only his bare hands. He accidentally pierced his knee and the rusted spike caused an infection which led to fatal blood poisoning.[75]
  • 1926: Phillip McClean, 16, from Queensland, Australia became the only person documented to have been killed by a cassowary. After encountering the bird on their family property near Mossman in April,[76] McClean and his brother decided to kill it with clubs. When McClean struck the bird it knocked him down, then kicked him in the neck, opening a 1.25 cm long cut in one of his main blood vessels. Though the boy managed to get back on his feet and run away, he collapsed a short while later and died from the hemorrhage.[77]
  • 1926: Harry Houdini, the famous American escape artist, was punched in the stomach by an amateur boxer. Though this had been done with Houdini's permission, complications from this injury may have caused him to die days later, on October 31, 1926. It was later determined that Houdini died of a ruptured appendix,[78] though it is contested as to whether or not the punches actually caused the appendicitis.[79]
  • 1927: Isadora Duncan, dancer, died of a broken neck when her long scarf caught on the wheel of a car in which she was a passenger.[81]
  • 1928: Alexander Bogdanov, a Russian physician, died following one of his experiments, in which the blood of L. I. Koldomasov, a student suffering from malaria and tuberculosis, was given to him in a transfusion.[82]

1930s Edit

  • 1930: William Kogut, an inmate on death row at San Quentin, committed suicide with a pipe bomb created from several packs of playing cards and the hollow leg from his cot. At the time, the red ink in playing cards contained flammable nitrocellulose, which when wet can create an explosive mixture. Kogut used the heater in his cell to activate the bomb.[83][84]
  • 1933: Michael Malloy, a homeless man, was murdered by five men in a plot to collect on life insurance policies they had purchased. After surviving multiple poisonings, intentional exposure, and being struck by a car, Malloy succumbed to gassing.[86]
  • 1935: Baseball player Len Koenecke was bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher by the crew of an aircraft he had chartered, after provoking a fight with the pilot while the plane was in the air.[87]
  • 1939: Finnish actress Sirkka Sari died when she fell down a chimney into a heating boiler. She had mistaken the chimney for a balcony.[88][89]

1940s Edit

  • 1942: 32 men died as a result of a chain of events that started when the British cruiser HMS Trinidad accidentally torpedoed itself.[92]
  • 1944: 74 men died when the US Submarine Template:USS accidentally torpedoed itself during a combat patrol off the coast of Taiwan.[93]
  • 1944: Inventor and chemist Thomas Midgley, Jr. accidentally strangled himself with the cord of a pulley-operated mechanical bed of his own design.[94]
  • 1946: Louis Slotin, chemist and physicist, died of radiation poisoning after being exposed to lethal amounts of ionizing radiation from the same core that killed Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. The core went critical after a screwdriver he was using to separate the halves of the spherical beryllium reflector slipped.[96]
  • 1947: The Collyer Brothers, extreme cases of compulsive hoarders, were found dead in their home in New York. The younger brother, Langley, was crushed to death when he accidentally triggered one of his own booby traps that had consisted of a large pile of objects, books, and newspapers. His blind and paralyzed brother Homer, who had depended on Langley for care, died of starvation some days later.[97]

1950s Edit

  • 1959: In the Dyatlov Pass incident, nine ski hikers in the Ural Mountains abandoned their camp in the middle of the night, some clad only in their underwear despite sub-zero weather. Six died of hypothermia and three by unexplained injuries. The corpses showed no signs of struggle, but one had a fatal skull fracture, two had major chest fractures, and one was missing her tongue. Soviet investigators determined only that "a compelling unknown force" had caused the deaths.[101]

1960s Edit

  • 1960: In the Nedelin catastrophe, more than 100 Soviet rocket technicians and officials died when a switch was accidentally turned on, causing the second stage engines of a rocket to ignite, directly above the fully fueled first stage. The casualties included Red Army Marshal Nedelin, who was sitting just 40 meters away overseeing launch preparations.[102]
  • 1961: U.S. Army Specialists John A. Byrnes and Richard Leroy McKinley, and Navy Electrician's Mate Richard C. Legg were killed by a water hammer explosion during maintenance on the SL-1 nuclear reactor in Idaho.[105][106][107][108]
  • 1966: Worth Bingham, son of Barry Bingham, Sr., died when a surfboard, lying atop the back of his convertible, hit a parked car, swung around, and broke his neck.[111]
  • 1966: Skydiver Nick Piantanida died from the effects of uncontrolled decompression four months after an attempt to break the world record for the highest parachute jump. During his third attempt, his face mask came loose (or he possibly opened it by mistake), causing loss of air pressure and irreversible brain damage.[112][113]
  • 1967: Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger B. Chaffee, NASA astronauts, died when a flash fire began in their pure oxygen environment during a training exercise inside the Apollo 1 spacecraft. The spacecraft's escape hatch could not be opened because it was designed to seal shut under pressure.[114]
  • 1967: Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov became the first person to die during a space mission after the parachute of his capsule failed to deploy following re-entry.[115]

1970s Edit

  • 1975: Bandō Mitsugorō VIII, a Japanese kabuki actor, died of severe poisoning when he ate four fugu (puffer-fish) livers. Mitsugorō claimed to be immune to the poison and the fugu chef felt he could not refuse him.[121]
  • 1975: Alex Mitchell, a 50-year-old from Norfolk, England, died laughing while watching The Goodies. A particular scene had caused Mitchell to laugh nonstop for twenty-five minutes before dying of heart failure.[122]
  • 1975: Pit Dernitz, a tourist in Namibia, was killed by lions in front of his wife and children during a filming excursion. On an impulse, Dernitz had left his vehicle to film a feeding lion and within seconds he was tackled by a large lioness. Footage of his death has been featured in many films, including Savage Man Savage Beast and Traces of Death.[123]
  • 1977: Tom Pryce, a Formula One driver at the 1977 South African Grand Prix, was killed when he was struck in the face by a track marshal's fire extinguisher. The marshal, Frederik Jansen van Vuuren, was running across the track to attend to Pryce's team-mate's burning car when he was struck and killed by Pryce's car. Van Vuuren himself was literally torn in half as the car ploughed into him at speeds exceeding 270 km/h (170 mph).[125]
  • 1978: Janet Parker, a British medical photographer, died of smallpox in 1978, ten months after the disease was eradicated in the wild, when a researcher at the laboratory where Parker worked accidentally released some virus into the air of the building. Parker is the last known smallpox fatality.[127]
  • 1978: Kurt Gödel, the Austrian/American logician and mathematician, died of starvation when his wife was hospitalized. Gödel suffered from extreme paranoia and refused to eat food prepared by anyone else.[128]
  • 1979: Robert Williams, a worker at a Ford Motor Co. plant, was the first known human to be killed by a robot,[129] after the arm of a one-ton factory robot hit him in the head.[130]
  • 1979: John Bowen, a 20-year-old of Nashua, New Hampshire, was attending a halftime show at a New York Jets football game at Shea Stadium on December 9, 1979. During an event featuring custom-made remote control flying machines, a 40-pound model plane shaped like a lawnmower accidentally dived into the stands, striking Bowen and another spectator, causing severe head injuries. Bowen died in the hospital four days later.[131][132]
  • 1979: Nitaro Ito, a candidate for Japan's House of Representatives, died in an attempt to gain sympathy during his election campaign. Having persuaded one of his employees to punch him in the face, Ito then stabbed himself in the leg. Unfortunately, he hit an artery and bled to death before any aid could be given.[46]

1980s Edit

  • 1981: David Allen Kirwan, a 24-year-old, died from third-degree burns after attempting to rescue a friend's dog from the 200°F (93°C) water in Celestine Pool, a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park on July 20, 1981.[133][134]
  • 1981: Kenji Urada, a Japanese factory worker, was killed by a malfunctioning robot he was working on at a Kawasaki plant in Japan. The robot's arm pushed him into a grinding machine, killing him.[136]
  • 1981: Paul Gauci, a 41-year-old Maltese man, died after welding a butterfly bomb to a metal pipe and using it as a mallet, thinking it was a harmless can.[137]
  • 1982: Actor Vic Morrow and child-actor Myca Dinh Le (age 7) were decapitated, and child-actress Renee Shin-Yi Chen (age 6) was crushed, by a helicopter blade during filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie.[138]
  • 1982: David Grundman was killed near Lake Pleasant, Arizona while shooting at cacti with his shotgun. After he fired several shots at a 26 ft (8 m) tall Saguaro Cactus from extremely close range, a 4 ft (1.2 m) limb of the cactus detached and fell on him, crushing him.[139][140]
  • 1982: Navy Lieutenant George M. Prior, 30, died in Arlington, Virginia from a severe allergic reaction to Daconil, a fungicide used on a golf course he attended. He had unwittingly ingested the substance through his habit of carrying the tee in his mouth when playing.[141]
  • 1983: Four divers and a tender were killed on the Byford Dolphin semi-submersible, when a decompression chamber explosively decompressed from 9 atm to 1 atm in a fraction of a second. The diver nearest the chamber opening literally exploded just before his remains were ejected through a 24 inch (60 cm) opening. The other divers' remains showed signs of boiled blood, unusually strong rigor mortis, large amounts of gas in the blood vessels, and scattered hemorrhages in the soft tissues.[142]
  • 1983: Sergei Chalibashvili, a professional diver, died as a result of a diving accident during the 1983 Summer Universiade in Edmonton, Alberta. When he attempted a three-and-a-half reverse somersault in the tuck position from the ten meter platform, he struck his head on the platform and was knocked unconscious. He died after being in a coma for a week.[143]
  • 1983: American author Tennessee Williams died when he choked on an eyedrop bottle-cap in his room at the Hotel Elysee in New York. He would routinely place the cap in his mouth, lean back, and place his eyedrops in each eye.[144]
  • 1983: Jimmy Lee Gray, during his execution in a Mississippi gas chamber, died bashing his head against a metal pole behind the chair he was strapped into. The poisonous gas had failed to kill him but left him in agony and gasping for eight minutes.[145]
  • 1983: Dick Wertheim was an American tennis linesman who died from blunt cranial trauma at a match at the 1983 US Open. Stefan Edberg sent an errant serve directly into his groin, causing him to fall and hit his head on the pavement.[146]
  • 1984: Tommy Cooper, British comedian, died of a heart attack while performing during a live TV broadcast at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. Initially the audience, thinking it was part of the act, continued to laugh as he lay collapsed on the stage. He was then pulled from sight as attempts were made to revive him off stage.[147]
  • 1984: Jon-Erik Hexum, an American television actor, died after he shot himself in the head with a prop gun loaded with a single blank cartridge. Hexum was playing Russian Roulette during a break in filming.[148]
  • 1986: More than 1,700 were killed after a limnic eruption from Lake Nyos in Cameroon, released approximately 100 million cubic metres of carbon dioxide that quickly descended on the lake and killed oxygen-dependent life within a 25 kilometre (15 mile) radius, including three villages. The same phenomenon is also blamed for the deaths of 37 near Lake Monoun in 1984.[149]
  • 1988: Clarabelle Lansing, an Aloha Airlines Flight 243 flight attendant, was sucked out of a Boeing 737 when a large section of its fuselage tore off in mid flight.[152]

1990s Edit

  • 1990: Bo Diaz, a 37-year-old former baseball player, was killed at his home in Caracas on September 23. A satellite dish that he was adjusting on the roof of his home fell on him and crushed his neck and head against the base of the dish.[153]
  • 1991: Maximo Rene Menendez, a 25-year-old man from Miami, fell into a coma and eventually died after drinking a Colombian soft drink that had been laced with cocaine in an apparent smuggling scheme.[154]
  • 1991: Edward Juchniewicz, a 76-year-old man from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, was killed when the unattended ambulance stretcher he was strapped to rolled down a grade and overturned.[155][156]
  • 1993: Actor Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, was shot and killed by a prop gun during the making of the movie The Crow. The accident happened after a mistake in prop handling procedures: In a prior scene a revolver was fired using a cartridge with only a primer and a bullet, but the primer provided enough force to push the round out of the cartridge into the barrel of the revolver, where it stuck. The gun was then reused to shoot the death scene of Lee's character. This time it was reloaded with a blank cartridge that contained propellant and a primer. When actor Michael Massee fired the gun, the bullet was propelled into Lee.[160]
  • 1993: Garry Hoy, a 38-year-old lawyer in Toronto, Ontario, fell to his death on July 9, 1993, after he threw himself against a window on the 24th floor of the Toronto-Dominion Centre in an attempt to prove to a group of visitors that the glass was "unbreakable." The glass did not break, but popped out of the window frame.[161][162]
  • 1993: Michael A. Shingledecker Jr. was killed when he and a friend were struck by a pickup truck while lying flat on the yellow dividing line of a two-lane highway in Polk, Pennsylvania. They were copying a daredevil stunt from the movie The Program. Marco Birkhimer died of a similar accident while performing the same stunt in Route 206 of Bordentown, New Jersey.[163]
  • 1994: Jeremy Brenno, a 16-year-old golfer from Gloversville, New York, was killed when he threw his club against a bench in a fit of rage, breaking the shaft. Part of the shaft bounced back and pierced his heart.[165]
  • 1995: A 39-year-old man committed suicide in Canberra, Australia by shooting himself three times with a pump action shotgun. The first shot passed through his chest, but missed all of the vital organs. He reloaded and shot away his throat and part of his jaw. Breathing through the throat wound, he again reloaded, held the gun against his chest with his hands and operated the trigger with his toes. This shot entered the thoracic cavity and demolished the heart, killing him.[166]
  • 1996: Sharon Lopatka, from Maryland, was killed by Robert Glass who claimed that she had solicited him to torture and kill her for the purpose of sexual gratification.[167]
  • 1997: Karen Wetterhahn, a professor of chemistry at Dartmouth College, died of mercury poisoning ten months after a few drops of dimethylmercury landed on her protective gloves. Although Wetterhahn had been following the required procedures for handling the chemical, it still permeated her gloves and skin within seconds. As a result of her death, regulations were altered.[168][169]
  • 1998: Tom and Eileen Lonergan were presumed dead after being stranded after scuba diving with a group of divers off Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The group's boat accidentally abandoned them after an incorrect head count taken by the dive boat crew. Their bodies were never recovered.[170]
  • 1999: Dominguez Garcia was killed February 25, 1999, by an airborne cow in Vacaville, California. The animal had strayed onto the highway and was struck by another vehicle, launching it into his lane where it crashed through his windshield.[173][174]
  • 1999: Owen Hart, a Canadian-born professional wrestler for WWE, died while performing a stunt where he was to be lowered into the ring from the rafters of the Kemper Arena on a safety harness. The safety latch was accidentally released early and Owen dropped 78 feet (24 m) and landed chest-first on the top rope, severing his aorta.[175]
  • 1999: Betty Stobbs, a 67-year-old woman from Durham, England, was killed when a flock of sheep attacked her power bike and pushed her over a 100-foot cliff. She survived the fall, only to be crushed by the falling bike.[176]

21st century Edit

2000s Edit

  • 2001: Bernd-Jürgen Brandes, from Germany, was voluntarily stabbed repeatedly and then partly eaten by Armin Meiwes (who was later called the Cannibal of Rotenburg). Brandes had answered an internet advertisement by Meiwes looking for someone for this purpose. Brandes explicitly stated in his will that he wished to be killed and eaten.[180]
  • 2001: Gregory Biggs, a homeless American man in Fort Worth, Texas, was struck by a car being driven by drunk driver, Chante Jawan Mallard and became lodged in her windshield with severe but not immediately fatal injuries. Mallard drove home and left the car in her garage with Biggs still lodged in her car's windshield. Biggs died of his injuries several hours later.[181]
  • 2001: Michael Colombini, a 6-year-old American boy from Croton-on-Hudson, New York, was struck and killed, at Westchester Regional Medical Centre, by an oxygen tank when it was pulled into the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine while he underwent a test. He had begun to experience breathing difficulties while in the MRI and when an anaesthesiologist brought a portable oxygen canister into the magnetic field, it was pulled from his hands and struck the boy in the head.[182][183]
  • 2002: Richard Sumner, a British artist suffering from schizophrenia, went into a remote section of Clocaenog Forest in Denbighshire, Wales, handcuffed himself to a tree and threw the keys out of his reach. His skeleton was discovered three years later. There were signs that he may have later changed his mind.[185]
  • 2003: Brian Douglas Wells, an American pizza delivery man in Erie, Pennsylvania, was killed when a time bomb fastened around his neck exploded. At the time of his death he had been apprehended by the police for robbing a bank. Wells told police that three people had locked the bomb around his neck and would not release it had he refused to commit the robbery.[186]
  • 2003: Dr. Hitoshi Christopher Nikaidoh, a surgeon, was decapitated as he stepped onto an elevator at Christus St. Joseph Hospital in Houston, Texas, USA on August 16, 2003. Improper maintenance caused the safeties to fail, and the doors closed on Nikaidoh's head. The car then ascended with him still trapped by the doors.[187][188][189][190]
  • 2004: Phillip Quinn, a 24-year-old from Kent, Washington, was killed while heating up a lava lamp on his kitchen stove. The lamp exploded and a shard pierced his heart.[191]
  • 2004: Ronald McClagish, from Murrow, Cambridgeshire in England, was trapped inside a cupboard when a wardrobe outside fell over and made it impossible for him to get out. McClagish survived for a week before succumbing to bronchitis, which he had contracted when he removed a waterpipe in an attempt to free himself and the cupboard was partially flooded.[192][193]
  • 2004: An unidentified Taiwanese woman died of alcohol intoxication after immersion for twelve hours in a bathtub filled with 40% ethanol. Her blood alcohol content was 1.35%. It was believed that she had immersed herself as a response to the SARS epidemic.[194]
  • 2004: Tracy J. Kraling, 31, was killed at Regions Hospital in Minnesota after entering a walk-in autoclave. The door closed while she was inside, and the machine automatically started, scalding her with 180°F(82°C) water.[195]
  • 2004: Francis "Franky" Brohm, 23, of Marietta, Georgia was leaning out of a car window and decapitated by a telephone pole support wire. The car's intoxicated driver, John Hutcherson, 21, drove nearly 12 miles to his home with the headless body in the passenger seat, parked the car in his driveway, then went to bed. A neighbour saw the bloody corpse still in the car and notified police. Brohm's head was later discovered at the accident scene.[196]
  • 2006: Erika Tomanu, a seven-year-old girl in Saitama, Japan, died when she was sucked 10 metres down the intake pipe of a current pool at a water park.[200]
  • 2006: An unidentified airline mechanic was sucked into the engine of a Boeing 737-500 at El Paso International airport while performing routine maintenance on the tarmac.[201]
  • 2006: Mariesa Weber, a petite 38-year-old woman, asphyxiated when she became wedged upside-down behind a bookcase in her bedroom while trying to adjust a plug on her television set. Her family, believing she had been abducted, searched for eleven days before finally finding the body.[203]
  • 2007: Humberto Hernandez, a 24-year-old Oakland, California resident, was killed after being struck in the face by an airborne fire hydrant while walking. A passing car had struck the fire hydrant and the water pressure shot the hydrant at Hernandez with enough force to kill him.[207][208][209]
  • 2007: Kevin Whitrick, a 42-year-old British man, committed suicide by hanging himself live in front of a webcam during an Internet chat session.[210]
  • 2008: Abigail Taylor, a 6-year-old from Edina, Minnesota, died nine months after several of her internal organs were partially sucked out of her lower body while she sat on an excessively powerful swimming pool drain. Surgeons had replaced her intestines and pancreas with donor organs, but she later succumbed to a rare transplant-related cancer.[213]
  • 2008: An unidentified intoxicated man from St. Petersburg, Russia, was accidentally killed by the folding couch on which he laid following a dispute with his wife. The irate wife kicked a handle that released a folding mechanism for the couch, left the room, and did not return for three hours. The couch had folded away into the wall, trapping the husband within and killing him.[214]
  • 2008: Gerald Mellin, a U.K. businessman, committed suicide by tying one end of a rope around his neck and the other to a tree. He then got into his Aston Martin DB7 and drove down a main road in Swansea until the rope decapitated him.[215]
  • 2008: James Mason, 73, of Middlefield, Ohio, died of heart failure after his wife exercised him to death in a public swimming pool. Christine Newton-John, 41, pulled Mason around the pool and prevented him from getting out of the water 43 times.[218]
  • 2008: Nordin Montong, 32, a janitor at the Singapore Zoo, committed suicide by entering an enclosure containing white tigers and provoking them with brooms and a pail until they mauled him to death.[220]
  • 2009: Jonathan Campos, an American sailor charged with murder, killed himself in his Camp Pendleton, San Diego, California, cell by stuffing toilet paper into his mouth until he asphyxiated.[221]
  • 2009: Sergey Tuganov, a 28-year-old Russian, bet two women that he could continuously have sex with them both for twelve hours. Several minutes after winning the $4,300 bet, he suffered a fatal heart attack, apparently due to having ingested an entire bottle of Viagra just after accepting the bet.[222]
  • 2009: Vladimir Likhonos, a Ukrainian student, died after accidentally dipping a piece of homemade chewing gum into explosives he was using on another project. He mistook the jar of explosive for citric acid, which was also on his desk. The gum exploded, blowing off his jaw and most of the lower part of his face.[225]

2010s Edit

2010Edit

  • A 40-year-old South Korean male wheelchair-user identified as Mr. Lee died after falling down an elevator shaft in Daejon. Lee had failed to enter an elevator in time and, in a rage, rammed the doors with his mobility scooter, breaking them open and falling to his death.[226]
  • Amy Rose Coxall, a 15-year-old British schoolgirl studying in Hong Kong, died of strangulation shortly after her scarf got caught in the wheel of a go-kart she was driving on a karting course.[227]
  • Jacquelyn Kotorac, 49, a physician from Bakersfield, California, died of asphyxiation when she became trapped in the chimney of her boyfriend's home while attempting to break in.[228]
  • Jenny Mitchell, a 19-year-old English hairdresser, was killed when her car exploded after fumes, caused by chemicals mixing with hydrogen peroxide leaking from a bottle of hair bleach, ignited as she lit a cigarette.[229]
  • Robert Gary Jones, 38, was killed while jogging on a beach in Hilton Head Island, U.S. when he was hit from behind by a small plane making an emergency landing.[234]
  • Vladimir Ladyzhensky, a competitor from Russia, died in the World Sauna Championships in Finland, after he had spent six minutes in a sauna that had been heated up to 230°F(110°C).[235]

2011Edit

  • Acton Beale, 20, died after falling from a balcony in Brisbane, Australia, the only person known to have died while participating in a fad known as 'planking'.[239]
  • Sheila Decoster, 62, died from asphyxiation after falling head first into a recycling bin at her home in Toledo, Ohio, U.S.[240]
  • Brian Depledge, 38, died from asphyxiation at his home in Bradford, England, after tripping and falling into a plastic clothes-airer and trapping his neck in the rungs.[241]
  • Rory Schmand, 47, of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, died approximately four months after a tree branch fell and crashed through her car windshield, impaling her between the eyes.[243]
  • Arthur Sexton, 80, drowned after falling off a step ladder and landing upside down in a water butt containing only a couple of feet of water, in the garden of his home at Fleet in Lincolnshire.[244]

2012Edit

  • Savannah Hardin, 9, from Montgomery, Alabama died of seizure-related complications after running non-stop for several hours. She was reportedly forced to run by her stepmother and grandmother as punishment for lying about eating a candy bar.[245]
  • A Chinese shopkeeper, 42, from Haikou died during an altercation with a 41-year-old woman over a parking space. The woman reportedly grabbed his testicles and squeezed them until he was rendered unconscious. The man was later pronounced dead at the hospital from the injuries.[247]
  • Erica Marshall, a 28-year-old veterinarian in Florida, died when the horse she was treating in a nearby high-oxygen chamber kicked the wall, releasing a spark from its horseshoes and triggering an explosion.[248][249][250]
  • Uroko Onoja, a Nigerian polygamist businessman, died after being forced by five of his six wives to have sex with each of them. Onoja was caught having sex with his youngest wife by the remaining five, who were jealous of him paying her more attention. The remaining wives demanded that he also have sex with each of them, threatening him with knives and sticks. He had intercourse with four of them in succession, but stopped breathing before having sex with the fifth.[251]
  • Maria Pantazopoulos, 30, drowned after being swept away in the Ouareau River just north of Montreal, Canada while wearing her wedding dress for a photography session. Ordinarily, standing near the shore in 15–30 cm (6–12 in) of water for a healthy adult would not be inherently dangerous. However, her water-soaked dress became too heavy, and she was pulled deeper into the river and succumbed to drowning. She had been married only two weeks earlier.[252]
  • Dieter Strack, 74, a German athletics official died after being struck in the throat with a javelin at an athletics event in Düsseldorf, Germany. He had gone to measure a throw but was hit by a javelin thrown by a 15-year-old athlete. He was immediately taken to the hospital but died of his injuries. [253]



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