No one can escape from death because it does not have an escape, but what if I say some fortunate people turn their back on the face of death? Many people came face to face before death and accidentally escaped it with just some luck, or we can say it was their destiny. These people have survived plane crashes, volcano eruptions, ship sinkings, lightning, and even their executions. Below are 10 cases of people who accidentally escaped death.
1. Ludger Sylbaris was the only survivor of the 1902 Mount Pelee eruption. He only survived because he was thrown in jail just a day before the eruption. His cell was partially underground, had thick stone walls, no windows, a bomb-proof magazine, and a small slit for breathing.
Ludger Sylbaris was an Afro-Caribbean man and was one of the few survivors of the Mount Pelee eruption 1902. He led a life of crime for many years, like petty thievery, drunken stupors, and engaging in arguments with local merchants.
On May 7, 1902, at night, he was thrown into a cell for beating another man, or some say he killed a man. He was ordered to be in solitary confinement. He was put into an underground single-cell, with a bomb-proof magazine, and stone walls. It had only a small slit for breathing and no windows.
In the morning of May 8, Mount Pelee, which was an active volcano situated in the northern end of Martinique, erupted. It was one of the deadliest volcano eruptions, which killed 30,000 to 40,000 people in Saint-Pierre. Four days after the eruption, a rescue team heard Sylbaris’ cries from the cell. He was badly burned but somehow managed to survive. (1, 2)
2. Optatius Buyssens, a Belgian soldier was saved from a bullet by a stack of coins he was carrying in his jacket. The bullet bounced off the coins and ultimately saved his life. Vincent Buyssens, his great-grandchild, said these coins saved his great-grandfather’s life during World War I.
Imagine being saved from a bullet by just a few coins in your pocket. This happened with the World War I Belgian soldier named Optatius Buyssens. He was carrying a stack of coins in his jacket, and when the bullet hit him, it and bounced off the coins, which ultimately saved his life.
He heard the noise of coins clinging together in his breast pocket. There were six coins of which three were from Belgium and three were from France.
Optatius was kicked in the head by a German soldier and got shot by him, but Optatius tricked him by acting dead. When the German soldier walked away, he and the surviving soldiers crawled back to safety.
After the war, Optatius suffered from heart problems but managed to live until 1958. His great-grandson, Vincent Buyssens, recited the story of how these few coins managed to save his great- grandfather’s life during World War I. (1, 2)
3. John Lee was sentenced to be hanged in 1885 for the murder of Emma Keyse for whom he worked in England. When he was about to be hanged, the trap-release door malfunctioned three times in a row, which led to a lot of confusion. His fate took an unexpected turn and his death sentence changed into a life sentence.
John Lee served in the Royal Navy and was also a known thief. He used to work as a servant for Miss Emma Keyse in England. On November 15, 1884, Keyse was brutally murdered with an ax, and her house was set on fire. John was charged with the murder and was sentenced to be hanged.
In 1885, he was taken to be hanged at Exeter Prison. While he was standing in the gallows waiting to be hanged, his fate supported him that day and the trapdoor malfunctioned three times in a row. After that, they stopped trying to hang him. He then served the next 22 years in prison and was released in 1907. Afterward, he became famous as “the man they couldn’t hang.” (1, 2)
4. A couple from California, USA were out when they were trapped by a severe thunderstorm in 2015. When a bolt of lightning struck them, they surprisingly survived. The reason…? They were holding hands which helped them to diffuse the electric current which ran through their bodies.
A teenage couple from California, USA, Lexie Varga, and Dylan Corliss, was granted another life for just holding hands. In 2015, they were out when they got trapped by a severe thunderstorm while walking through a Claremont neighborhood.
Afraid of the thunderstorm, they held each other’s hands, and after a few moments, a lightning bolt shot from the sky and hit Dylan, then his girlfriend, and then disappeared into the ground.
Both of them suffered minor injuries. Dylan said in a report that he felt like someone was hitting him on the head with metal, whereas Varga described she felt like a force knocked her over. According to the doctors, their holding hands might have been the reason they were saved. (1, 2)
5. Patty Austin, a famous singer, booked a seat on United Flight 93, which was due to fly from New York to San Francisco on the morning of September 11th. Fortunately, her plans had to be altered due to her mother’s health, and she flew home on an earlier flight. If she had boarded Flight 93, she would have been on the flight that was hijacked by Al-Qaeda and crashed in a Pennsylvania field.
Patty Austin is a famous American songwriter and Grammy Award-winning singer. She accidentally escaped death when she booked a seat on United Flight 93 from Boston to SFO, which was due to fly from New York to San Francisco the morning of September 11th.
Unfortunately, or we can now say, fortunately, Austin’s plans were altered when her mother suffered a stroke and she had to board an earlier flight.
If she had boarded United Flight 93, she would have been on board the flight that was hijacked by four Al-Qaeda hijackers. When passengers tried to regain control of the plane from the hijackers, the plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field. She would have died along with those 44 people on the flight. (Source)
Also read: 10 People Who Faked Their Own Death