Aerial acrobatics is dangerous no matter how you do it. On Sunday, nine aerial circus performers were injured within minutes of beginning their performance when a platform collapsed reports KATU News. Eight performers went plummeting to the ground, on top of another dancer when the metal truss fell.
It was reported that nobody was seriously injured even though one person is listed in intensive care. The stunt being performed is listed as a human chandelier in which the performers hang from their hair alone. The eight women fell anywhere from 25-feet to 40-feet from the air. All the performers have been doing some variation of this stunt for some time although a spokesperson didn't know for certain how long. This particular stunt began in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in January with the launch of the Legends show.
Providence Public Safety Commissioner says that they aren't sure as to what happened to the truss as it was tested and it was working just fine. The Rhode Island Hospital admitted 11 patients all with varying degrees of injuries. All are expected to be just fine. One audience member says that they thought it was part of the show until they heard the girls screaming. Everyone was shocked, and a spokesperson for the show asked that the audience offer their prayers for the performers.
NY Daily News reports that when the two later shows were canceled after the performers were hurt. In 2004, an aerial performer was killed when she was twirling on chiffon scarves when the material gave away. It was a tragic accident, and because of it, the circus canceled their later shows of the day to ensure the safety of all performers. The show was also immediately canceled only 45 minutes into the show. The spotlights that were on the performers were immediately shut down.