According to Sabrina Cullen, National Public Relations Manager, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey at 1:40 p.m. ET May 6, 2014,
“The condition of several of the performers injured in the accident during the 11 a.m. performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS℠ on May 4, 2014, at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, RI, has been upgraded. Four performers are reported to be in serious condition and four are reported to be in good condition. One performer was released earlier this week.
The cause of the accident continues to be under review by both our company and outside authorities. It has been determined that a carabiner in the rigging failed, however we do not know at this point why. Each piece of equipment used in this act is inspected when it is initially rigged and visually re-inspected prior to each performance.
At load-out last night in Providence, we re-inspected the entire rig and truss. As an additional precaution, we are replacing all carabiners on this unit. The carabiner used in the hair hang act has a load rating in excess of 10,000 pounds. The act, including the performers and equipment, weighs less than 1500 pounds. Every piece of equipment used for the hair hang display is rated for weight loads well over the total weight of the act.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS℠ is now in Hartford, CT, and performances there will proceed as scheduled from May 8-11. The hair hang act will not be in the show.
The safety of our cast, staff and crew, as well as our guests, continues to be our highest priority. During load-in in Hartford, as per our existing protocol, all equipment will undergo a full safety inspection before performing.”
This statement reflects the same high standards expressed by Kenneth Feld, President and CEO and staff members to the Bonita Springs, FL Speakers Assembly in April when Stephen Payne, Vice President, Corporate Communications said,
“Each performer inspects their own equipment prior to each performance. And since we travel each week, when the equipment is set up in a new venue it is evaluated by our crew before even a rehearsal begins.
Finally, we have a group in our corporate office which is solely focused on safety. They make sure rigging, floor layout, everything really associated with one of our shows has full safety training and they constantly evaluate process and procedures to make sure each and every Feld Entertainment production meets the highest standards for safety for our associates, venue personnel and, very importantly, our customers.”
He indicated that cast members and performers spend generations and lifetimes perfecting a few moments of excitement for the benefit of audiences throughout the world. They no longer perform in tents but rather in modern, safer entertainment venues. This is their chosen profession and career, to share their talent with audiences.