Man killed in freak accident after being hit by rogue hammer thrown at top-level competition
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A man has died following a freak hammer incident at a Highland Games tournament at Geldrop Castle Estate in the Netherlands.
A 65-year-old man was struck in the head by a rogue hammerhead that had loosened from the nearby sporting event, according to Omroep Brabant.
The man, who was not a spectator at the open Dutch Highland Games championship, received CPR and critical care from emergency services.
A helicopter attended the scene to airlift the man to a nearby hospital, however the man did not survive.
Eyewitnesses told local news outlet Omroep Brabant that the accident went 'wrong during the hammer throw, where a bullet [that weighs over seven kilograms] is thrown from a stick'.
The man was walking in the gardens just before noon (local time) on the grounds of Geldrop Castle Estate when he was struck.
One eyewitness told Omroep Brabant that 'the pendulum gave way, we saw the ball go over the hedge and then we heard a woman screaming very loudly'.
The sporting event was halted after the man was hit and police are now investigating the circumstances surrounding the fatal incident.
Deputy Mayor Hans van de Laar offered his condolences to family, friends, and witnesses who saw it happen.
"We are all very shocked by this terrible accident. Our condolences go out to the bereaved," he said, according to local press.
The Deputy Mayor explained what is understood so far of what occurred.
"The bullet ended up in the flower field next to the playing field, in a crooked line. The victim was probably walking there, because the terrain was freely accessible," van de Laar said as per Omroep Brabant.
Officials now are attempting to determine if the competition had obtained the correct permits needed to host the sporting event.
Local media reports that the event organiser Highland Games Federation Netherlands had not applied for the permits as they assumed the permanent event permit of the Geldrop Castle Estate would be sufficient.
One witness told local press that the man who had been competing in the hammer throw was devastated over the tragic turn of events.
The sportsman is understood to be an experienced athlete who 'had previously participated in major competitions'.
The identities of those involved have not been released as investigations continue.