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9 Critically Injured in Ringling Bros. Circus Accident

Acrobats fell nearly 30 feet in the accident in Rhode Island 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, after acrobats fell nearly 30 feet during a circus performance Sunday morning.

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

The Providence Journal is reporting that Ringling’s Legends Tour General Manager Roman Garcia said everyone injured is conscious, but asks “everybody [to] pray for the girls,” in a news conference Sunday afternoon. Garcia said the accident happened during a hair-hanging act.

WARNING, this may be difficult to watch: Video of the accident >>>

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

North Kingstown, RI resident Sydney Bragg, who witnessed the accident, told WHDH, 7-News that the collapse happened about an hour and a half into the show and the platform began to fall. She told the TV station she thought it was part of the act.

Bill Harvey May 04, 2014 at 06:39 PM
greatest show on earth...splat!
Gina May 04, 2014 at 10:58 PM
Wow, your empathy and compassion is overwhelming!
ctrnj May 05, 2014 at 01:51 PM
You need help...you're a sicko!!! Disgusting remark.
abbyjj May 04, 2014 at 08:58 PM
". . . everybody to pray for the girls." Were these children? It's not clear. I thought these were adult female aerialists who were so tragically injured. Or were these children?
Heywood May 06, 2014 at 08:40 AM
I couldn't even watch these poor girls hanging by their hair, what a freak show. The circus is not much removed from days of old, anything to appeal to the crowd and the show must go on.

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