OSHA investigates circus accident - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

OSHA investigates circus accident

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By Dana Griffin



PROVIDENCE, RI- Investigators are trying to determine how a five inch steel clamp snapped– sending eight acrobats plummeting to the ground; a 30–foot fall that seriously injured nine performers. Two are still in critical condition.

"The carabiner that failed was at the top of the chandelier. Six cables came from the chandelier up to that single point of the carabiner and that's the carabiner that did fail," said Providence firefighter, Paul Doughty.

Providence Public Safety Commissioner, Steven Pare said, "There may have been additional clamps that failed. Don't know if that's the exclusive reason for the collapse but it's one that contributed without a doubt."

The performers have done this routine 150 times. It's unclear how long the clamp had been in use but OSHA has taken possession of some of the suspension pieces.

Abc 6 news sat down with OSHA area director, Patrick Griffin.

Griffin said, "We're gonna look to see how the rigging was done. We're going to look at how the components were made, where they came from."

All permits were pulled and approved by the city.

The circus inspects and provides its own riggers who travel with the company.

The circus is now packing up headed to Hartford. Although the show will continue as planned, the Connecticut OSHA office will determine if Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey will be allowed to do any aerial acts in their shows.

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