It may not come as a surprise, but kites are the oldest heavier-than-air objects known to be flown in the skies. Around the world and among different cultures, kites have taken on a variety of meanings. Kites were first popularized in China 3,000 years ago. Other parts of the world realized how much fun it was to fly kites.
In addition to entertainment, kites have also been used to distribute propaganda, broadcast radio signals, ward off supernatural forces, and spy on others. Nowadays, most of the people fly kites for pleasure and fun.
What you may not know is that, in the wrong hands, kites are extremely dangerous. The data reveals that dozens of people are injured each year, some even killed by comets. Only one festival that happened in India in January 2023 saw three children lose life and another 176 wounded.
What follows are 10 of the most notable moments when people died while flying kites or doing so.
Related: 10 Incredibly Tragic Unsolved Child Murders
10 An Indian boy electrocuted
In Sangareddy, India, on January 12, 2023, a boy and his friends climbed on a roof to fly kites. The roof belonged to the rented house where one of the boys lived. Unfortunately, one of the boys flew his kite too close and hit an electrical wire.
This led to the child suffering severe burns. So the boy made the foolish mistake of trying to remove the kite. He later passed away at a nearby medical center. The boy is reported to have received burns to more than 90 percent of his body, while the other two suffered burns to 30 percent of their bodies.
India’s transmission voltage is 765 kV AC, the highest voltage that power lines can carry and the equivalent of 115,000 volts. Shocks above 2,700 volts are often fatal, while shocks above 11,000 volts are often fatal. However, it is the amount of current (the amps) rather than the voltage that determines the result. 
9 Man falls and dies flying kite
In 2021, a 44-year-old man had an unfortunate experience flying a kite. The man was flying kites with his neighbors during a Sankranti celebration in Hyderabad, India, when he fell from at least four stories. The mishap occurred when the man approached the edge of the building’s terrace and lost his balance. It is believed that he did not realize that he was so close to the edge.
Unfortunately, the man fell on the metal door that surrounded the building and died at the scene before he could be transported to the hospital. After the accident, the police commissioner asked people to stop flying kites from high places. The commissioner also requested that parents instruct children not to run into dangerous areas like busy roads while trying to collect kites.
For context, six stories range from 60 to 90 feet (18.3 to 27.4 meters) in height. While people who fly kites often survive falls of 20 to 25 feet (6.1 to 7.6 meters), the higher the height after that, the more likely a fatality is to occur. One study found that falls from eight stories (98 feet or 29.9 meters) are almost always fatal.
8 Man electrocuted by kite string
In July 2017, India’s National Green Court completely banned manja, a non-biodegradable kite string material made from nylon or other synthetic materials that are harmful to animals, birds and humans.
Two months later, a 33-year-old man residing in eastern India failed to comply with this rule. The man was flying a kite from the terrace of his house when he became entangled in a high tension cable. The handle had been made partially of glass and metal powder and proved to be a good conductor when caught in a 33,000 volt power line. The deceased’s son, who was holding the rope, experienced a shock and was immediately thrown backwards.
The deceased, owner of a stationery store, was taken to a hospital, where he died of his injuries. The man’s daughter, nephew and niece were also injured trying to pry the man’s hand off the kite string.
7 Boy dies after falling from giant kite
A five-year-old boy in Vietnam died in 2015 after getting caught in the strings of a giant kite. The boy was then carried up into the air before falling 65 feet (20 meters) to the ground. Video recording captures the terrifying moment, where onlookers could only watch in terror. The kite took off into the air so fast that no one could save it. The boy was freed when several of the kite’s strings snapped. After being taken to the hospital, the boy was pronounced dead.
The boy wandered away from his mother as members of the Saigon Kite Club tried to launch the large kite, which contained a replica of the Vietnamese flag and was reportedly nearly 50 feet (15 meters) wide. One woman reported that the kite fell to the ground several times before being blown by the wind. When taking off, the kite knocked over a table and chairs near the booth where the boy’s mother worked. The boy is believed to have approached the kite to retrieve soda bottles when he got caught in the kite’s strings.
6 Giant Japanese kite kills one
In 2015, a crowd in Higashiomi, Japan watched a kite weighing more than 1,000 pounds (453 kilograms) fall from the sky, injuring four people. One of the men injured by the kite’s fall died from his injuries. Spectators claimed that the kite showed instability within minutes of being airborne. One commentator said the kite tipped to the side and then crashed to the ground as onlookers scrambled to find safety.
The day the mishap occurred, a weather report was issued with a strong wind warning. Three others were injured in the incident, including two elderly people and a child.
The annual Higashiomi Giant Kite Festival involves large kites made of bamboo and paper. To make things even more astonishing, this marked the second fatal accident involving a giant kite to occur in Japan in a ten-week period.
5 Child dies after falling into a ditch while flying a kite
In 2023, a boy from Cuttack, India left his home without telling anyone. While flying his kite, the boy fell into an open drain in the Bidanasi part of the city and died.
By the time the boy left the house, his family was sitting watching television. Because they were unable to prevent the child from falling into the drain, Cuttack Municipal Corporation officials later blamed the family for the child’s death. Construction work on the drain had stopped two months earlier, but authorities left it open at various points. If the Municipal Corporation had covered the drain with concrete slabs, the accident would never have occurred.
This wasn’t the only time someone was injured by falling into an open drain that month. A few weeks earlier, a South Korean journalist fell into an open drain in Bhubaneswar, India, while enjoying a cup of tea at a roadside stall.
4 mumbai boy throat slit
Also in 2023, a boy in Mumbai, India, was taking in the views from his family’s sunroof as the vehicle traveled along the Mumbai-Ahmedabad National Highway towards his family’s vacation home. The child’s mother, father, sister and grandparents also traveled in the vehicle. Suddenly, the boy was injured when a kite string became entangled around his neck.
At the time of the accident, the vehicle was traveling at a moderate speed and very close to the family’s destination. The boy was immediately taken to the hospital with profuse bleeding. The boy’s mother, a doctor and another doctor from the hospital tried to put pressure on the wound. Still, the child died from his injuries. The kite string that took the boy’s life was made of nylon.
What the boy did not know was that that same day, very close to him, a girl had lost her life in the same way while also leaning out of a sunroof.
3 11 dead in Pakistani kite festival
Eleven people have been killed and more than 100 injured at an annual spring festival in eastern Pakistan. The festival is usually celebrated with many bright kites. In addition to celebratory stray bullets, other people were killed by kite strings, electrocution caused by kites, and falling from roofs while flying kites.
Many kite fliers in Pakistan try to use wire or other sharp kite strings made from ground glass to try to cut the strings of rival kites or injure other kite fliers. However, this can cause substantial injury and death to birds, people, and other animals.
Pakistani police have arrested more than 700 people for using dangerous kite strings or firing weapons during the festival. Law enforcement also seized 282 illegal weapons. In 2006, the Pakistani authorities even temporarily banned kite flying after a series of deaths at festivals. As a result of the ban, police have arrested more than 1,000 people for selling or making harmful kite strings. After these 11 deaths, it is understandable that the ban was reimposed. 
2 Man on motorcycle killed by kite string
In early 2023, a man in Surat, India, riding a motorcycle was killed when a stray kite string slashed his neck. At the time of the accident, the man was on his way to his house after working in a mechanical loom factory in a diamond industrial estate.
Police reported that the man sustained substantial injuries to his throat and neck, but managed to bring his bike to a safe stop. The motorcyclist was taken to a nearby hospital, but was later pronounced dead. The mishap occurred shortly before the Uttaryan kite festival in India.
Uttaryan (or Makar Sankranti) is known as the harvest festival. During this time, the crowd shouts “Kai Po Che” to the flying kites. The festival marks the end of winter and the beginning of longer days and honors the Hindu epic, Mahabharata.
1 Englishman dies flying a stunt kite
In 2011, a 20-year-old man in Bedfordshire, England’s Dunstable Downs, fell 50 feet (15 meters) after a strong gust of wind caught his kite and took the man with it. Although the man had four years of experience flying “stunt kites,” he had never used safety equipment. While strapped to the kite, the man was thrown 7 feet (2.1 meters) forward, 40 feet (12 meters) into the air, ascended another 20 feet (6 meters), and finally hit the ground.
Due to the fall, the man broke his arm, legs and pelvis. He is also believed to have suffered a heart attack and brain injury. When ambulance workers arrived at the scene, they found the man unconscious and not breathing. The man was later pronounced dead.
Kite flying associations often suggest the greatest degree of caution when flying stunt kites due to the substantial pull, lift, and speed. Additionally, UK law prohibits flying kites more than 60 meters (197 ft) above the ground without permission from the Civil Aviation Authority. These safety precautions, however, did not stop the man.
#Tragic #Tales #People #Killed #Flying #Kites