9 Acrobats Seriously Injured in Fall During Aerial Circus StuntPosted: May 4, 2014
A platform collapsed during an aerial hair-hanging stunt at a circus performance Sunday, sending eight acrobats plummeting to the ground. Nine performers were seriously injured in the fall, including a dancer below, while an unknown number of others suffered minor injuries.
Stephen Payne, a spokesman for Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros., said the accident happened during an act in which eight performers hang “like a human chandelier” using their hair.
He said the metal-frame apparatus from which the performers were hanging came free from the metal truss it was connected to. The eight women fell 25 to 40 feet, landing on a dancer on the ground.
All the performers have been doing “some variation of this act for some time,” Payne said, though he didn’t know how long. The current incarnation of the act began in January with the launch of the show, he said.
“It just went crashing down. Everyone was freaking out. We heard this huge clatter and then we just heard the girls scream.”
Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said officials and inspectors haven’t yet determined what caused the accident. He said none of the injuries appears to be life-threatening.
Rhode Island Hospital in Providence admitted 11 patients with varying injuries, including one in critical condition, spokeswoman Jill Reuter said.
The hair-hanging stunt is described on the circus’ website as a “larger-than-life act” featuring eight female performers.
“These ‘hairialists’ perform a combination of choreography and cut-ups including spinning, hanging from hoops, and rolling down wrapped silks, all while being suspended 35 feet in the air by their hair alone,” the website says…(read more)
Associated Press writers Josh Cornfield in Philadelphia and Jessica Gresko in Washington contributed to this report.
- 9 acrobats injured in fall from circus platform (stltoday.com)
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- 9 Acrobats Hurt in Fall during Aerial Circus Stunt (kstp.com)
- Acrobats fall in accident at US circus (nzherald.co.nz)
- 9 acrobats hurt in fall during aerial circus stunt (hosted.ap.org)
- 9 Acrobats Hurt in Fall During Aerial Circus Stunt (rss.nytimes.com)
- Acrobats fall in accident at Rhode Island circus (nwitimes.com)
- Nine acrobats injured in fall from circus platform (wfaa.com)