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Tributes paid to 'human cannonball'

Tributes have been paid to a "human cannonball" stuntman who plunged to his death at a daredevil show.

Matt Cranch, 23, died after a safety net failed during the Scott May's Daredevil Stunt Show at the Kent County Showground in Detling on Monday afternoon.

He was taken to Maidstone General Hospital by ambulance but died shortly afterwards.

Mr Cranch, who was from the Isle of Man but had more recently been living in Newquay, Cornwall, was described as a "loveable character" and a "true gent who had time for anyone and everyone" on the social networking site Facebook.

One post, from Chris Murray, said: "What a beast of a man. Will never forget Cranch for various things that make me laugh every time. Will be missed by very many."

Another, from Annie-Bella Pearce, read: "You will be remembered with much love and missed greatly."

Friends of Mr Cranch, who was understood to have only taken up the job as a stuntman two weeks ago, gathered on the beach at Newquay to remember him on Tuesday night.

Officers from Kent Police are now investigating the incident alongside health and safety officials from Maidstone Borough Council, while the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has also been consulted.

Witnesses estimated that Mr Cranch was launched 30-40ft into the air by the cannon before falling head-first to his death as the safety net lay flat on the ground.

Scott May's Daredevil Stunt Show has been touring the UK since 1991 and features motorbike and monster trunk stunts. A statement on the website said all shows have been cancelled until further notice, adding: "We still do not know what caused this dreadful accident".

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