A Cirque du Soleil acrobat falls during the "Wheel of Death" stunt in a Las Vegas show. On Nov. 4, ABC News reported that the acrobat was injured and is still in the hospital today. Junior Espinoza slipped and fell during a performance of the show "Zarkana" which is at the Aria resort on the Vegas strip. He is said to be in stable condition.
"The show was halted and the artist was transported to UMC," Cirque du Soleil said in a statement. The "Wheel of Death" is a very dangerous act where two acrobats swing on a pendulum of two wheels without harnesses (see video on left).
Cirque du Soleil acrobat falls just days after Cirque du Soleil was cited and fined on several safety violations. The fines -- totally about $25,000 -- came after another performer plummeted to her death during an act back in June. Cirque du Soleil has filed an appeal against OSHA. The talented artists have defended the company saying that they endure "rigorous" safety training.
"We all have huge safety routines we go through -- the artists, the riggers, the staff. There are so many safety measures in place," explained Kristin Wingfield Williams, a former Cirque du Soleil performer.
When a Cirque du Soleil acrobat falls, it's frightening. Often these artists are up very high participating in very dangerous stunts.
The "Wheel of Death" has been disabled until Espinoza is well enough to return.
© Effie Orfanides 2013