Details of the Providence circus tragedy - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Details of the Providence circus tragedy

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By: Dee DeQuattro
Email: ddequattro@abc6.com
Twitter: @deedequattro

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s Legend show is packing up and leaving town after a tragic accident that has left eight of its performers hospitalized.

The incident happened on Sunday when an act called the “hair-hang” went horribly wrong sending eight performers plummeting approximately 30 to 40 feet to the ground. Public safety officials say a large carabineer clamp snapped during the performance.

Two of the acrobats remain in critical condition as of Monday. One of the nine people injured during the stunt has been released from the hospital, three are in serious condition, and the other three are in good condition. All are expected to survive their injuries.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has taken over the investigation into the incident.

The circus canceled all its remaining Providence shows.

“It was in the best interest to cancel all of those shows. They will now look at the rigging, and ensure that they're 100% confident that once this show is back on the road and reaches Hartford later this week that they'll be able to pull that show off without any problems,” said Larry Lepore, General Manager of the Dunkin Donuts Center.

 Representatives for Ringling Bros. say they will be back on track to perform in Hartford on Thursday. According to Nicole Feld an Executive Vice President of Feld Entertainment, the group that owns Ringling Bros., says the performance will be the entire show except for the hair-hanging stunt and anything associated with it.

“In Hartford we're hoping to put on a full performance without this act and associated acts.  The important thing is to get it inspected and make sure out performers feel safe,” said Feld.

Feld say that the act had been rehearsed over 150 times by the performers who have been practicing it for over a year.

This is not the first tragedy for Ringling Bros.

In 2004, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, an aerial performer was killed after her chiffon scarf gave way while she was twirling 30-feet in the air.

According to a providence journal, back in 1998 when the Dunk was called the Providence Civic Center - a performer broke her ankle while doing the "human cannonball" routine and in 1993, a trainer was knocked over and stepped on by an elephant in Florida.

A list of the performers and their conditions:

Serious

Dayana Costa

Julissa Segrera

Stefany Neves

Viktoriya Medeiros

Good

Samantha Pitard

Svitlana Balanicheva

Viktorilla Liakhova

Widny Neves

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