Circus performers fall in aerial act, 9 seriously injured

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Providence, RI, United States (4E) – Nine circus performers were hospitalized after falling about 35 feet into the ground during an aerial act at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in downtown Providence Sunday morning.

Thousands of spectators saw the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus show’s eight female acrobats fall when the metal frame apparatus to which they were hanging by their hair separated from the metal truss it was connected to around 11 a.m. The acrobats fell on a female dancer on the floor also injuring her. Emergency crews brought all nine injured acrobats to the Rhode Island Hospital for treatment.

About 11 others were hurt in the accident, according to Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré.

The performers called the Medeiros Troupe are part of the circus’ human chandelier act in which they hang by their hair. During the show watched by nearly 4,000 people, they were raised almost to the ceiling of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center before the metal frame gave way. Several ambulances arrived shortly.

The show was cut short and the audience left the scene. Two other shows at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. were cancelled and the circus is refunding ticket holders.

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus arrived Friday in Providence for its Legend Tours, which is scheduled up to Monday.

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