"the hole in the wall of the machine shop"
According to legend something similar happened to a 20k rpm biology centrifuge at a university I worked in when the pulse counter went wonky. Only it was on the 5th floor.
I read a similar story in the late 1970s about a 2MW hydro generator which lost its oil supply sometime in the past. Before the operators noticed and could (manually) stop it, it levered itself out of the cradle and thankfully went downstream for a couple of miles (upstream was the dam wall). The article noted that contemporary hydro turbines were 600MW with automatic emergency shutdown systems and in the one case of oil failure documented up to that point, the ends of the bearing holders were visibly glowing red hot before they managed to stop it.
Almost all those floor standing washing machine drives used mains-driven synchronous motors for the platters, so I'm surprised about overspeeding. About the only thing which sounds possible is that the head carriage shattered the spindle and freed the platters. Even at 3600RPM they'd be scary things.