He was rightly skittish after it happened. Amazingly it didn't fail "quickly". By that I mean once it snapped, the housing for it held it all in and kept the wheel from flying about. Thankfully the housing did its job and everyone is safe.
Not a bad life, considering the machine was (as far as we can remember) about 75 years old. Sadly, this break is more than likely fatal unless we can find a donor shaft to replace it.