UK & World News

  • 5 May 2014, 12:20

Acrobats Hurt In Hair-Hanging Stunt Fall

Nine US circus performers have been seriously injured during their aerial act in Rhode Island.

The accident happened during a stunt in which eight of the performers hang from their hair to create a "human chandelier".

But the scaffolding collapsed, sending the eight women acrobats crashing to the ground from some 40 feet (12 metres) in the air, 45 minutes into the show.

A ninth dancer below was also hurt during the accident on Sunday at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus' Legends show at the Dunkin' Donuts Centre in Providence.

Stephen Payne, a spokesman for Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros, said the metal frame apparatus came free from its metal truss.

The cause of the accident is being investigated, Providence's public safety commissioner Steven Pare said.

He added none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.

A total of 11 people were taken to Rhode Island Hospital with varying injuries, including one in a critical condition.

Roman Garcia, general manager of the Legends show, said: "Everybody's doing fine, everybody's at the hospital, everybody's conscious, everybody's doing pretty well."

The hair-hanging stunt is described on the circus' website as a "larger-than-life act".