Content Warning: Accidents, natural disasters, death, guns, mass death.
This is a second sneak peek at a very tentative, very early-stage work in progress I call Erin O’Riordan’s Almanac of Bad Days. Part I dropped on August 3, 2022.
September 1, 2019: Spanish dancer Joana Sainz Garcia is killed while performing during a music festival when a pyrotechnics display malfunctions. A faulty cartridge strikes the 30-year-old in the abdomen.
September 2, 1900: A tropical hurricane formed over the Atlantic Ocean makes landfall in the Dominican Republic. This storm is among the deadliest in U.S. history, with a large number of fatalities coming from Galveston, Texas. Meteorologists of the time, and in particular Isaac Cline, didn’t believe that a significant hurricane was possible in Galveston, and so rejected requests from the townspeople that the city should build a sea wall. As many as 8,000 people in the Caribbean, the U.S., and the Maritime Provinces of Canada are thought to have lost their lives in this storm, including Cline’s wife and some of his children.
September 3, 1991: Fire breaks out inside the Imperial Food Products chicken processing plant in Hamlet, North Carolina. Some workers are unable to escape due to locked doors, including one door labeled as a fire exit. The building had no sprinkler system or fire alarm. Of the 90 workers in the plant at the time of the fire, 25 died and an additional 54 were injured. Plant owner Emmett Roe pleads guilty to manslaughter and serves nearly four years in prison.
September 4, 2006: Wildlife expert, zookeeper, and filmmaker Steve Irwin is filming a dive in shallow water near the Great Barrier Reef. He is struck in the chest by a stingray’s tale. The barb of the tale pierces his heart, killing him.
September 5, 1983: Canadian stunt performer Ken Carter is killed when the rocket car he’s using to jump over an Ontario pond overshoots the landing ramp, flips, and lands on its roof.
September 6, 1951: Joan Vollmer is shot and killed in an American-owned bar in Mexico City by her husband, William S. Burroughs. Both were intoxicated. Vollmer is alleged to have placed a glass on top of her head, and Burroughs was supposedly trying to shoot the glass off her head with a pistol. Instead he shot Vollmer in the head and killed her instantly.
|Courtney Love attending Life Ball in Vienna, Austria, May 31, 2014. Public domain image.|
September 7, 2018: Rapper Mac Miller, aged 26, dies of an overdose of alcohol, cocaine, and fentanyl.
September 11, 1987: Reggae artist Peter Tosh and two friends are shot and killed when Tosh’s home is invaded by a street gang demanding money.
September 11, 2001: The World Trade Center, Pentagon, and a third target are attacked by commercial jets hijacked by terrorists. Nearly 3,000 people are killed.
September 13, 1996: Rapper and actor Tupac Shakur dies from gunshot wounds in Las Vegas.
September 14, 1899: Real estate developer Henry H. Bliss becomes the first person killed in the U.S. from a motor vehicle collision. The previous day, he had stepped off a trolley car and been struck by an electric taxi cab, knocking him to the ground and crushing his chest.
September 14, 1927: Dancer Isadora Duncan is killed in Nice, France, when her scarf becomes entangled in the open-spoked wheel and axle of the car she’s riding in, breaking her neck.
September 16, 1977: T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan, who never learned to drive, is the passenger in a Mini 1275GT automobile when it crashes into a fence post and then a tree, killing Bolan instantly.
September 16, 1985: Aerobatic pilot Arthur “Art” Scholl crashes his plane and is killed while filming spin footage for the movie Top Gun. He crashes into the Pacific Ocean; his aircraft is never recovered.
September 18, 1970: 27-year-old Jimi Hendrix dies of asphyxiation at St. Mary Abbots Hospital in London. He appears to have aspirated vomit after taking an overdose of barbiturates, presumably his girlfriend’s sleeping pills.
September 19, 1902: One hundred fifteen members of the Shiloh Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, are killed in a stampede after one of them called out “Fight!” and this was misheard as “Fire!”
|Link80fan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons|
September 22, 1978: Stunt performer A.J. Bakunas dies from his injuries after a failed stunt fall from Lexington, Kentucky’s Kincaid Towers the previous day. Bakunas lands on the air bag as planned, which splits, allowing his body to hit the ground at approximately 115 miles per hour.
September 27, 1986: Metallica bassist Clifford (Cliff) Burton dies in a tour bus accident in Sweden. The bus skids off the road while members of the band are sleeping in their bunks. Burton is thrown out of his bunk and through the window; the bus falls on top of him.
September 30, 1997: Post-modern writer Kathy Acker, age 50, dies of breast cancer while undergoing alternative treatment in Tijuana, Mexico.
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