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The most unlikely deaths in apparently safe jobs

An IndoChinese spitting cobra

Accidents in the workplace happen all the time, but rarely result in death.

Bodyguards, firefighters, policemen, and stunt performers are a few examples of life-threatening jobs.

Construction workers and those who work with heavy machinery are also aware of the risks of their jobs.

Some jobs are safer than others.

You're much more likely to die on a building site than you are sitting at your desk.

However, freak accidents can still happen and anyone can end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Here are some examples of incidents where people tragically lost their lives in their apparently safe jobs.

Hotel Helper

In January 2019, just two days after turning 13, a boy in India had an accident at work.

He was just six months into being a helper at a hotel and had been hired to wash silverware and do a mix of housekeeping tasks.

Sadly, child labor is still common in parts of India.

The job seemed to be deemed safe, but the boy was the victim of a horrendous incident involving an industrial elevator.

The elevator was used to move food and other items around the hotel.

One day, the staff heard a massive crash from the kitchen.

When they went to investigate they found the boy's remains.

It is thought he got stuck, and that his head was crushed between the grill and the elevator.

A federal inspection began against the hotel owner and manager and charged them with homicide, cruelty to a child, and exploitation.

The investigation concluded in 2020 and no one was found to blame for the tragic incident.

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Tennis Linesman

Tennis linesmen get paid to watch tennis games and call out whether a ball has fallen outside or inside the court lines.

Usually, the worst that can happen is getting yelled at by angry players.

But in a freak accident in 1983, tennis linesman Dick Wertheim was struck in the groin with a ball which caused him to fall from his chair, hit his head on the ground, and become unconscious.

He was taken to hospital but never regained consciousness.

He died five days later, becoming the first person ever to be killed by a tennis ball.

His family sued the United States Tennis Association for $2.25 million, claiming there weren't proper safety systems in place.

It was deemed the association was 25 percent responsible and made to pay $165,000.


Clement Vallandigham worked as a lawyer on what he thought would be the most extraordinary case of his life.

In fact, his efforts to clear his client led to his own death.

He represented Thomas McGehean in an apparent murder case in Ohio in 1871.

Thomas Myers was in his room when five thugs broke in, and a fight broke out. A shot was heard as Myers got up, trying to get his pistol from his pocket; he pulled out the gun, fired shots, and instantly fell dead on the floor.

It is unclear what happened in all the chaos, but witnesses kept mentioning a McGehean's name.

It was known there was bad blood between them.

However, Vallandigham felt that Myers shot himself by accident. He experimented with establishing how much residue was left by a point-blank shot. By the time he was done, three live bullets were in his pistol.

When the lawyer returned to his hotel room, he was given a box with Myers's gun for inspection. He put both pistols next to one another and reenacted his theory of what happened.

Vallandigham took the pistol he thought was empty, but the gun got caught on his clothing and unintentionally shot a bullet into his belly. Surgeons could not locate the shell, and he died the next day.

His death proved his theory, and McGehean was let go.

Reportedly, another man killed himself in the same way not long afterwards by trying to show how Vallandigham died.

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Cooking people's dinners rarely presents too much of a risk to life.

Burns and cuts are fairly common, but to die while in the kitchen is very unlikely.

Sadly, this was the case in a restaurant in Southern China in 2014 - in extraordinary circumstances.

The man was Peng Fan, who was preparing a special dish made from the Indochinese spitting cobra - a deadly snake.

He had removed the snake's head 20 minutes before preparing the dish.

Unbelievably, the apparently dead cobra bit his hand and was able to inject its deadly venom.

The venom paralyzes the victim's respiratory system.

He could have been saved by anti-venom but was dead by the time the ambulance arrived.

Yang Hong-Chang, a snake expert, explained all reptiles can function up to an hour after losing parts or even their entire body.

He said, "It is perfectly possible that the head remained alive and bit Peng's hand. By the time a snake has lost its head, it's effectively dead as basic body functions have ceased, but there is still some reflexive action."

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