Circus performers plunge 35 feet at Providence performance, at least 9 injured (Video)

By Daniel S Levine,

During a horrific accident at the Providence, Rhode Island Dunkin’ Donuts center on Sunday, circus performers plunged 35 feet to the ground from a suspended ‘human chandelier.’ Miraculously, all the performers survived, but all were treated for injuries.

The accident was caught on video, which shows the performers suspended in the air. Suddenly, the entire apparatus falls, hitting another performer on the ground.

“Everybody’s conscious. Everybody’s doing well. We ask everybody to pray for the girls,” Roman Garcia, general manager of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ Legends tour, told the Providence Journal after the accident.

A circus spokesperson said later Sunday that the eight women who were suspended in the air are part of the Medeiros Troupe. Their names are Viktoria Medeiros, Widny Neves, Samantha Pitard, Viktorila Liakhova, Dayana Costa, Julissa Segrera, Stefany Neves and Svitlana Balanicheva. The name of the performer on the ground was not released.

According to WPRI, a Rhode Island Hospital spokeswoman said that a total of 11 people were rushed to the hospital’s emergency room and seven were admitted. There was no immediate word on their condition.

The accident happened during the 11 a.m. performance, which meant that many parents were attending the show with their children. The “human chandelier” stunt, called “Hair Hang” by the circus, happens just before the intermission. Some members of the audience have said that they thought it may have been part of the performance at first.

“I screamed. I’m like, that’s not right,” Chelie Barrie told WPRI. “Sometimes you’re surprised and it’s part of the show but this clearly wasn’t. It’s quite a shame.”

After the accident, the lights were immediately turned off. Lawrence J. Lepore, general manager of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, said that this is the standard procedure when an injury happens.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a federal agency, will take over the investigation. It will decide if Monday’s scheduled performances will take place.

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