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Tragic fall at circus leaves children traumatized

At least nine performers were seriously injured Sunday during a high-wire circus act in Providence.

Stephen Payne, a spokesman for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, said aerialists were performing when a metal-frame they were hanging from tore loose from a metal truss. Eight women fell 25 to 40 feet, landing on a dancer on the ground. The show was canceled, as was a show scheduled for 3 p.m.

“Clearly something went very wrong with this apparatus,” Payne said, adding that the fate of future shows would be determined by an investigation that the circus had begun. “The safety of our performers is the No. 1 priority.”

Performers do an aerial hair-hanging stunt at the circus May 2 in Providence.(Photo: Frank Caprio, AP)

Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening. He said it was unclear exactly what happened. Local authorities were investigating, he said.

Video of the accident was posted on YouTube.

via 9 seriously hurt in high-wire act at R.I. circus.

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