A circus accident in Providence, R.I. sent a number of flying “hair-hanging” acrobats to the hospital when a platform collapsed during a morning performance on Sunday. 11 people were “seriously injured” with one in "critical condition" in this high-flying stunt gone bad, reports Fox News Live on Sunday afternoon. All the injured were women, who were in the process of performing a "hair-hanging chandelier" when they fell, about 45 minutes after the start of the circus.
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus aerial stunt sent aerial acrobats plummeting to the ground, falling on another performer who was under the acrobats at the time they fell. CBS News reports on May 4 that all the injured are reported as having “serious injuries.” These troupe of performers were hanging from their hair about 40 feet above the ground when the platform that they were suspended from collapsed.
Witnesses said the workers at the circus immediately scrambled to put a curtain in place to cover the scene of the accident from the spectators. One of the performers who fell the 40 feet got up and came out from under the curtain with a bloody face, witnesses report.
The Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey website lists one "hair hanging" troupe traveling with the "Legend" tour that is in Providence this weekend. They are called the "Medeiros Troupe – Hair Hang."
A man who was at the Sunday morning circus performance with his family explained what the audience witnessed. Othello Smith of Providence said he left the Dunkin Donuts Center immediately following the acrobats' accident. He said that during an aerial act, the performers were spinning on cables or ropes when it happened, according to Fox News today.
Smith went on to say that there were about eight performers spinning in the air one minute and the next minute they were on the ground. Smith said “they dropped.” This accident happened just before noon on Sunday and ABC News reports the accident is under investigation.
This weekend the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus was in Providence doing a number of performances throughout the weekend. Next weekend the circus is slated to perform in Hartford, Conn. at the XL Center for their “Legends” show, the same show that was playing in Providence this weekend.
The Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey performances are split into three tours as they travel the country. “Built to Amaze,” “Super Circus Heroes” and “Legends” are the three tour names. This accident happened with the “Legend” tour.
Two more circus performances that were scheduled for Sunday and two scheduled for Monday have been put on hold until further notice, reports CBS News today.