Louis Slotin, a Canadian physicist working on the Manhattan Project at the Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico, became the second person in history to die in a nuclear criticality event, eight months after Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. became the first. Slotin was performing an experiment which attempted to begin the first stages of a nuclear reaction by enclosing a plutonium-gallium alloy bomb-core in a beryllium sphere. Slotin, who was not following proper safety protocol at the time, dropped the sphere and caused a “prompt critical” reaction that exposed him to a lethal dose of ionizing radiation. He died nine days later after suffering what doctors described as an “agonizing sequence of radiation-induced traumas”. The bomb-core that had been used during the accident was actually the same core that had killed Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. eight months prior, which was consequently nicknamed “The Demon Core” by the rest of the Manhattan Project staff.
Vladimir Ladyzhensky, a Russian athlete, died in the final round of the 2010 World Sauna Championship in Heinola, Finland, after collapsing and being pulled from the finalists’ sauna for the men’s competition. The event was an endurance-contest started in 1999 in which competitors attempt to be the last person to leave a high-temperature, high-humidity sauna. Ladyzhensky was dragged out after collapsing and almost immediately began suffering spasms and convulsions. Timo Kaukonen, a Finnish competitor and five-time champion of the event, also collapsed during the final round and had to be removed from the sauna by medical personnel. Both men were immediately taken to a hospital for treatment. An autopsy determined that Ladyzhensky had ultimately died of third-degree burns over portions of his body, with his condition exacerbated by the pain-killers he had taken earlier in order to increase his ability to endure the intense final round of competition. Kaukonen had to be placed into a medically-induced coma that lasted six weeks, but ultimately survived after having suffered severe burns over 70% of his body’s surface, having scalded his respiratory-system and suffering kidney-failure. The sauna used for the final round of the men’s competition had been heated to more than 230 degrees Fahrenheit and had a humidity nearing 100% saturation due to a constant water-drip on the heating-element. This was significantly more extreme than the saunas used in previous World Sauna Championship competitions. Footage of the 2010 event, including Ladyzhensky and Kaukonen’s collapse and removal from the sauna, has been made available on the Internet. In 2011, it was announced that Heinola was officially cancelling all future World Sauna Championship events.
Austin Wuennenberg, a 21-year-old employee of Disney World piloting the Monorail Purple train on the Disney Monorail System, was killed when the Monorail Pink train backed into his cockpit during a failed rail switch-over.
Harry K. Daghlian, Jr., a scientist working on the Manhattan Project at the Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico, became the first person in history to die in a nuclear criticality event. While preparing a bomb for the Operation Crossroads series of nuclear tests, Daghlian accidentally dropped a tungsten-carbide brick onto a plutonium-gallium alloy bomb-core, causing it to go supercritical. Daghlian received an estimated 510 REM of neutron radiation and quickly developed severe radiation poisoning. He died in a coma 25 days after the initial incident.
Dick Shawn, an American actor and standup comedian known for his roles in movies including It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and The Producers, died at the age of 63 in the middle of a standup routine being performed at the University of California. Shawn suffered a heart-attack on stage and collapsed face-down, with many audience-members believing it was part of his act since just prior to collapsing he had been imitating political campaign slogans including “If elected, I will not lay down on the job”.
Nasir Shaikh, a 26-year-old repairman from Mumbai, India, was killed in a pressure-explosion when two air-compressors for a mall’s air-conditioning system simultaneously violently ruptured while he was performing maintenance on them.
Richard M. Talley, the 56-year-old CEO and founder of American Title Services in Greenwood Village, Colorado, committed suicide by shooting himself eight times in the head and upper chest with a high-powered nail gun. American Title Services was under investigation at the time for insurance fraud.
Brendon Mackey, a 7-year-old boy from Midlothian, Virginia, died during a 4th of July party when a .40 caliber bullet fell from the sky and struck him in the head after being shot upwards into the air somewhere else in the neighborhood in celebratory fire.
Navy Lieutenant George M. Prior, 30, died while playing golf at a course in Arlington, Virginia, due to a sudden, extreme allergic reaction to Draconil, a fungicide used to maintain the green on golf courses. Prior had a habit of carrying his tee in his teeth in between shots, which caused him to unknowingly ingest a small amount of the chemical.
Paulo Ricardo Gomes da Silva, a 26-year-old Brazilian soccer-fan, was killed when a full-sized porcelain toilet was dropped on him during a soccer-riot. Following a match between Santa Cruz and Panama soccer-teams at Arruda Stadium in Recife, Brazil, a large riot erupted. Several fans began tearing toilets out of the stadium’s public bathrooms and then threw them from the stands into the crowds below. Silva was struck on the head by one of them and killed instantly. The incident was captured by a security-camera and has since been made available on the Internet. The people responsible for his death have still not been identified.
Anton Yelchin, talented actor having starred in several prominent film/tv roles, was found deceased, after failing to meet with friends who visited his home to check on him when he didn’t show. He was found pinned between his Jeep Cherokee and a brick wall. His Jeep was found to still be running and in neutral. The Jeep was pushing with such force that it bent the gate beside the brick wall.
A 42-year-old man with a history of hypertension from Hsinchu, Taiwan, whose name has not been released to the press, died 11 days after having a stroke while in a movie theater watching the 2009 James Cameron film Avatar in 3D. According to the emergency room physician that oversaw the man when he arrived at the hospital, his stroke was due to “becoming over-excited” due to the emotional effects of the film.
Abdullah al-Asiri, a 23-year-old member of al-Qaeda from Saudi Arabia, died in a failed attempt to assassinate Muhammad bin Nayef, the Deputy Minister of the Interior of Saudi Arabia, with a suicide-bomb. Posing as a “well-wisher” outside of Nayef’s home (a tradition in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan), Asiri waited for Nayef to get within close proximity to him before using a cell phone to activate his suicide-bomb, which consisted of 1 pound of PETN plastic explosives and some remote-activation electronics that he had hidden inside of his rectal cavity. Asiri was killed instantly upon detonation, but Nayef received only minor injuries due in part to Asiri’s body actually partially absorbing the energy of the blast upon exploding. Asiri had apparently been hiding the explosives in his anal cavity for more than 24 hours at that point in order to bypass metal-detectors and the security-staff. Experts in the field of modern terrorism have described al-Asiri’s method of perpetrating a suicide-bombing as “unique”.
23 guests at a wedding in Saudi Arabia were killed instantly via electrocution when outdoor celebratory gunfire knocked down an overhead electrical power-line onto a metal dance-floor. 30 additional guests were injured in the event. This incident occurred less than a month after the Saudi government banned the use of celebratory fire with live rounds being performed at weddings.
Keith Sapsford, a 14-year-old boy from Australia, died when he fell 200 ft. out of the wheel-well of a DC-8 owned by Japan Airlines as it took off from Sydney, Australia on a flight to Tokyo, Japan. Sapsford had apparently entered the plane’s wheel-well in an attempt to stowaway on the flight, but died only moments after takeoff when the angle of the wheel-well shifted as the plane ascended. John Gilpin, an Australian photographer, was taking photos of planes taking off from that airport on the same day and inadvertently snapped a photo of Sapsford in mid-air as he was falling. Gilpin did not see this as he snapped the photo and instead only discovered this a week later after he got his film developed.
In 1908, Byron Carter, founder of Cartercar, came across a stalled motorist on Belle Isle in the middle of the Detroit River. He gallantly offered to crank the car for the stranded driver. When she forgot to retard the spark, the crank kicked and broke Carter’s jaw. Complications developed, and Carter later died of pneumonia.
Basil Brown, a 48-year-old health-food advocate from Croydon, England, died after consuming ten gallons of carrot juice in ten days, causing him to overdose on Vitamin A and suffer rapid, severe liver damage.
Michael Marin, a 53-year-old Wall Street trader and father of four from Phoenix, Arizona, killed himself in court during the reading of his guilty verdict. Marin was on trial for insurance fraud after a forensic investigation of the aftermath of his 3.5 million dollar mansion burning down indicated arson. Potentially facing a sentence of up to 21 years in prison, Marin swallowed a cyanide tablet he had purchased online and concealed during the trial and died within minutes. The incident was recorded on video and has since been made available on the Internet.