Though it may be remembered as the year of the coronavirus, 2020 had a number of heart-stopping incidents that had nothing to do with the pandemic.
In February, a gymnastics coach became an instant hero as he caught a 9-year-old competitor just before she suffered a terrible fall. The little girl ran towards the vault and launched herself onto the springboard. She was off by a little and could have suffered a terrible fall.
In July, two children in Grenoble, France, fell several stories from a burning building into the arms of rescuers. The kids, 3 and 10 years old, were taken to a hospital and treated for smoke inhalation. They were unharmed by the fall, though two good Samaritans had to be treated for injuries they sustained while making the saves.
And over the summer, a 16-year-old soccer player in Russia was struck by lightning. It happened on the field during a warmup with his team. The moment was caught by a surveillance camera. Young Ivan’s coach performed first aid, and the teen was then taken to a hospital. A few weeks later, he was back on the field, and was able to show off a burn scar on his neck. He’d survived his own heart-stopping moment of 2020.
In August, a huge explosion hit the Lebanese city of Beirut. Effects of the blast were captured by a wedding videographer. Windows were shattered, and dust and debris filled the air. The photographer reported that neither the couple nor anyone involved in the shoot was harmed.
In October, a jeep came crashing down a mountain pass, right in front of an oncoming vehicle. The Telluride, Colorado incident was caught on dashcam. Suzie, a passenger in the jeep, was thrown in the fall. She escaped with her life. Her dog, Decker, was also thrown from the vehicle. He couldn’t be found, and was presumed dead. But three days later, hikers found the very good boy alive. Suzie had spinal surgery, and her parents are simply grateful.
Also in October, a bomb dating back to World War II exploded in a Polish waterway. No one was hurt. The powerful blast sent a column of water into the sky, and shook buildings and boats nearby. The Polish Navy had been using remote technology in an attempt to defuse the 19-foot device. Known as an "earthquake bomb," it was armed with more than 5,000 pounds of explosives.