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Inquest to hear details around death of human cannonball Matt Cranch who died during act at Kent Showground in Detling

By Anna Young

The circumstances surrounding the death of a human cannonball who hit the ground during a daredevil show will be heard at an inquest early next year.

Matt Cranch died while performing a stunt at the Kent Showground, off Detling Hill, in April 2011.

Pictures taken on the day by spectators suggested a safety net had collapsed just after he had been fired 40ft from the cannon.

Matt Cranch died during a human cannonball stunt at the Kent Showground in Detling

The 23-year-old suffered multiple injuries when he crashed to the ground during Scott May's Daredevil Stunt Show.

Coroner Patricia Harding today announced an inquest into the tragedy will take place over three days from Monday, January 19. The cause of death will be determined by a jury.

Solicitors for Mr May's company Stunts UK Ltd were present at the pre-inquest review as were representatives for Maidstone council and the Kent County Agricultural Society.

Mr Cranch's parents did not attend but Mrs Harding, who represents Mid Kent and Medway, said they were "anxious the full facts come to light".

Thousands of people were at the venue when the fatal incident happened in April 2011

She confirmed the equipment used by Mr Cranch is no longer in use.

Kent Police made no criminal charges in connection with the harrowing incident and referred their findings to the council.

The stunt show, which had been touring since 1991, cancelled several dates after the performer’s death. This year’s tour started four months ago with around 70 bookings. Owner Mr May was listed as one of the witnesses expected to address the jury.

Thousands of people were at the venue when Mr Cranch, from the Isle of Man, was killed on Easter Monday. Many did not realise the act had gone terribly wrong until the announcer called for an ambulance.

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