On May 23, 1999 Hart fell to his death in Kansas City, Missouri, during the Over the Edge 1999 pay-per-view event. He was 34 years old. Owen was in the process of being lowered into the ring from the rafters of Kemper Arena for a booked Intercontinental Championship match against The Godfather. In keeping with the Blazer's new 'buffoonish superhero' character, Hart was to be lowered to just above ring level, at which time he would release himself from the safety harness and fall flat on his face for comedic effect. It was an elaboration on a Blue Blazer stunt done on the Sunday Night Heat before Survivor Series 1998 where the Blue Blazer had come down from the rafters but was attacked when he was unable to release himself from the harness  (that is how the stunt was supposed to go, not a malfunction). Owen had performed the stunt only a few times before, and was worried about performing the stunt at Kemper Arena due to the height involved (Owen had a fear of heights). Something went wrong with the stunt which triggered the early release mechanism. Owen fell 78 feet (24 m) into the ring, smashing his chest on a padded, but still unforgiving turnbuckle, throwing him into the ring. He died from his injuries (including a severed aorta that filled his lungs with blood) less than an hour later. A short time later, during the show, Ross announced that Owen had passed away. The pay-per-view continued, however, apparantly after Owen's fellow wrestlers decided that Owen would not want them to cancel the show.