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9 Critically Injured in Ringling Bros. Circus Accident in Providence, RI

Acrobats fell nearly 30 feet in accident during Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Performance Sunday morning.

The act just before the platform gave way and sent performers crashing to the ground below. Photo Credit: WHDH, 7-News
The act just before the platform gave way and sent performers crashing to the ground below. Photo Credit: WHDH, 7-News
By Liz Taurasi

PROVIDENCE, RI - Twenty people were injured, nine critically, when acrobats plunged up to 40 feet to the ground Sunday during a circus performance at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence.

The accident occurred during the 11 a.m. performance of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The 3 p.m show Sunday was been canceled.

The Providence Journal is reporting that Ringling’s Legends Tour General Manager Roman Garcia said everyone injured is conscious, but asked that “everybody pray for the girls.” Garcia said the accident happened during a hair-hanging act.

Video of the accident shows a group of acrobats dangling in formation in the center of the performing area when the apparatus appears to give way and sends them plunging to the ground.

A spokesman for the parent company of Ringling Bros. told WHDH,7-News that eight of the injured acrobats fell 25 to 40 feet.

Sydney Bragg, who witnessed the accident, told WHDH, 7-News the collapse happened about 90 minutes into the show. She told the television station she thought it was part of the act.

Patch will bring you more information as it becomes available.
Diane Conlon May 04, 2014 at 03:46 PM
Terrible news. What happened to safety nets?? or is this another Xtreme sport??
Einstein May 04, 2014 at 05:53 PM
Oh, Oh... It happened in Providence. I see a Disablity Case coming. Where is Stephen J. Dennis when you really need him?
RITaxpayer May 05, 2014 at 07:22 AM
A couple of questions... 1. Was anyone from PETA in the staging area just before this act was to be performed? 2. Did Ringling Bros. try to set this up, as they have hundreds of times before without incident, without using union, RI licensed riggers for the project? I wouldn't put anything past either of these groups. I hope the entertainers are OK.
Barbara May 05, 2014 at 11:11 AM
RITaxpayer, the PETA question came to my mind as well.
Einstein May 05, 2014 at 12:16 PM
Mr. Growing More Concerned, you have the Sense of Humor of a Wet Noodle. Better switch to Decaf. I was trying to add a little levity to a disaster. Worry about Benghazi and leave the rest of us alone. Idiot.

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