9 Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Performers Injured and Two Others in Apparatus Failure in Providence, Rhode Island (VIDEO)


11 people were injured, including 9 Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performers, when the Medeiros Hair Hang Act, “human chandelier,” went terribly wrong. Eight female performers fell when the hair-hang apparatus, which holds performers by their hair, failed and another performer was injured on the ground at the  Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, RI. the performers suffered multiple broken bones, head injuries, and lacerations. Eleven people were hospitalized with injuries related to the accident, one is listed in critical condition. Rhode Island Hospital has confirmed that each of the eight women named by Ringling Bros. as part of the act are in the hospital: Viktoriya Medeiros, Widny Neves, Samantha Pitard, Viktorila Liakhova, Dayana Costa, Julissa Segrera, Stefany Neves and Svitlana Balanicheva. The remaining shows have been canceled.

Nine Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus performers were among 11 people injured Sunday in Providence, Rhode Island, after an apparatus used in their act failed, circus spokesman Stephen Payne said.

Eight performers fell when the hair-hang apparatus — which holds performers by their hair — failed, Payne added. Another performer was injured on the ground, he said.

Eyewitnesses said it appeared the acrobats fell about 30 feet. However, Payne said it was unclear how far they fell.

The performers were among 11 people hospitalized with injuries related to the accident, Rhode Island Hospital spokeswoman Jill Reuter told CNN. One of those people was listed in critical condition, Reuter said.

Boston Globe: Nine circus performers injured in Providence.

A YouTube video of the accident shows a pink curtain dropping from around the metal rig, revealing a ring of acrobats suspended roughly 30 feet in the air, facing outward. One performer hangs in the middle, just below the rest.

Seconds later, the prop, and the performers, plunge to the ground, and the prop lands on top of the acrobats. Circus music continues playing, but the main stage lights cut to black and a woman’s voice is heard saying, “Were they supposed to fall like that?”

Peabody resident Ashli Croinex, 22, who was sitting about six or seven rows back, said that after the rig crashed to the ground, a performer who had been standing below was bloody and shaking.

“He was the only one able to get up,” she said. “The rest of them were just silent. They didn’t even move.”

UPDATE I: 1:30 pm Police Press Conference.

Police said about 1:30 p.m. at a press conference that 9 of the performers were in critical condition at Rhode Island Hospital, but with non-life-threatening injuries.

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