Millions of people have been killed since the invention of machines. As a matter of fact, the leading cause of death in the world is due to vehicular accidents. Here’s a list of people who were killed by machines in the most unusual ways.
1.) Isadora Duncan – Killed by a Scarf
Isadora Duncan is a dancer who is regarded as the creator of modern dance. She was very fond of flowing scarves and this fondness of her was the cause of her death in 1927 in a bizarre automobile accident in Nice, France. Her large silk scarf, while still draped around her neck, became entangled around one of the vehicle’s open-spoked wheels and rear axle, breaking her neck.
2.) Gustav Kobbe – Killed by a Landing Plane
Gustav Kobbe, a writer and musicologist from the United States, was killed in 1918 when the sailboat he was on was struck by a landing seaplane off Long Island, New York.
3.) William Huskisson – Killed by Stephenson’s Rocket
In 1830, William Huskisson, a statesman and financier, was crushed to death by a locomotive known as Stephenson’s Rocket, at the public opening of the first mechanically powered passenger railway in the world.
4.) John Godfrey Parry-Thomas – Decapitated by Drive Chain
Driving is one of the most dangerous human activities. In 1927, the Welsh racing driver J. G. Parry-Thomas was decapitated when the drive chain of his car snapped and whipped into the cockpit.
5.) Thomas Maldwyn Pryce – Struck by a Fire Extinguisher
In 1977 at the South African Grand Prix, the Welsh Formula One driver Thomas Pryce was killed when he was struck in the face by a track marshal’s fire extinguisher. The marshal, Frederick Jansen van Vuuren, was running across the track to attend to Pryce’s team-mate’s burning car when he was struck, and killed instantly, by Pryce’s car.
6.) William Payne Stewart – Died of Fatal Hypoxia
In 1999, the Professional golfer Payne Stewart died when the airplane he was on lost cabin pressure in-flight, causing fatal hypoxia. The aircraft continued on auto-pilot for several hours, carrying the deceased passengers several hundred miles off course before running out of fuel and crashing in South Dakota. Five other people were with him during the incident. They lost their lives too.
7.) Gregory Biggs – Struck by a Car and Lodged in the Windshield
Gregory Biggs was a homeless American from Texas, USA. In 2001, he was struck by a car being driven by a drunkard and drug addict named Chante Jawan Mallard. Biggs’ torso became lodged in Mallard’s 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
8.) Four Divers – Died of Decompression
Four Divers and a tender were killed in 1983 on the Byford Dolphin semi-submersible, when a decompression chamber explosively decompresses 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 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 tissue
9.) Robert Gary Jones – Hit by a Small Plane
Robert Gary Jones was a 38-year-old man from South Carolina, USA. In 2010, he was jogging and listening to his iPod when he was hit from behind and killed by a small plane making an emergency landing on a beach in Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.
10.) David Phyall – Cut His Own head With a Chainsaw
David Phyall was a 58-year-old man from England, UK. He was the last resident in a block of flats due to be demolished in Hampshire, England. In 2008, he cut his own head off with a chainsaw to highlight the injustice of being forced to move out.
11.) Vic Morrow – Decapitated by a Helicopter Blade
Vic Morrow was an American actor. In 1982, during the filming of “Twiligh Zone: The Movie”, he was decapitated by a helicopter blade. Two child actors were also killed; Myca Dinh Le, who was decapitated, and Renee Shin-Yi Chen, who was crushed
12.) Clarabelle Lansing – Suck Out of the Boeing 747
Clarabelle Lansing was an Aloha Airlines Flight 243 flight attendant. In 1988, she was sucked out of the Boeing 747 when a large section of its fuselage tore off in mid flight.
13.) Thomas Midgley, Jr – Strangled With Cord of His Own Invention
Thomas Midgley, Jr was an American inventor and chemist. In 1944, he accidentally strangled himself with the cord of a pulley-operated mechanical bed of his own design and died.
14.) Robert Williams – Killed by a Robot
Robert Williams was a worker at a Ford Motor Co. plant in Michigan, USA. In 1979, the arm of a one-ton factory robot hit him in the head. Williams was the first known human to be killed by a robot.
15.) Kenji Urada – Killed by a Robot
Yes, robots kill not only in the movies but also in real life. Kenji Urada of Japan was one of the first individuals killed by a robot. In 1981, this 37-year old maintenance engineer at a Japanese Kawasaki plant, failed to turn off completely a broken robot he is working on. This resulted in the robot pushing him into a grinding machine with its hydraulic arm causing his death.
16.) John Bowen – Struck by a Model Plane Shaped Like Lawnmower
John Bowen was a 20 year-old from New Hampshire, USA. In 1979, while he was attending a halftime show at a New York Jets football game at Shea Stadium when a 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. He died in hospital 4 days later while the others survived.
17.) James Frederick Polley – Died While Riding Fire In The Hole
James Frederick Polley was a 23-year-old from Missouri, USA. In 1980, he died while riding the “Fire In The Hole” ride at Silver Dollar City Theme Park. The train of cars he was riding in was mistakenly switched to enter the maintenance and storage area of the ride. The door to the maintenance area had a low-hanging bay door and his head got caught between the door and the train.
18.) Boris Sagal – Decapitated by the Tail Rotor Blade of a Helicopter
Boris Sagal was a Russian-born American TV and film director. In 1981, he died while shooting the TV miniseries “World War III” when he walked into the tail rotor blade of a helicopter and was decapitated.