Nine performers were injured when an accident at a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus show when eight women fell during the ‘Human Chandelier’ act.

8 Performers Fall 30 ft During Ringling Bros. Circus

On Sunday in Providence, around 4,000 spectators looked on as eight women fell 30 feet after an apparatus holding them up by their hair malfunctioned. All were injured and taken to a hospital immediately, as were a few other performers injured on the ground. The show was cancelled following the accident, as was the evening performance and both of Monday’s scheduled shows.

According to a press release from Feld Entertainment, which owns the Ringling Bros’ Legends show, eight of those injured are still in the hospital, but those numbers are questioned by other reports.

“All performers received immediate medical attention and were transported to a local hospital for further care. One performer was released yesterday, and none of the injuries to the remaining performers are considered life threatening,” reads the statement.

Contrary to the official statement above, USA Today reported that two of the performers, Dayana Costa and Julissa Segrera, are still in critical condition.

“We are hopeful that all of these performers will achieve a full recovery and be able to return to the show at some point,” said Stephen Payne, Feld spokesman.

Circus Safety Investigations

Payne insists that the circus inspects every piece of equipment when the circus is brought to a new venue.

“We take the health and safety of our performers and our guests very seriously, and our company has a safety department that spends countless hours making sure that all of our equipment is indeed safe and effective for continued use,” Payne added.

Independent investigations began immediately; Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare announced that they had deduced that a clamp snapped, causing the aerial structure to collapse, though the investigation is ongoing. Pare also stated that the circus was “solely responsible for the setup and rigging of the show.” Fire officials also said that circus officials assured them that all equipment was visually inspected before the show.

US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is also conducting an inspection, according to spokesman Andre Bowser. Bowser announced that OSHA would be looking into any possible “violations of workplace safety standards.”

“Within the next 24 hours, I believe that, with the help of OSHA, the state and local officials will have a good idea of what failed and what needs to be changed for not only this performance, but performances going forward,” said Lawrence Lepore, general manager of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center where the accident occurred.

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