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First injured circus performer released from hospital, plans to return to act

First injured circus performer released from hospital, plans to return to act

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By: Melissa Randall

One of the performers injured during the hair hanging act at the circus has been released from the hospital. Samantha Pitard says she is lucky to be alive and wants to return to the act. She told the Associated Press that all the performers under stand the risks associated with the act.

"We hope it doesn't happen, but we know that we are taking that risk, and we love it enough to take that risk every day to make people happy," she said.

The women who were injured are all part of a stunt called the Human Chandelier. It involves 8 performers who are suspended by their hair from heights up to 40 feet in the air.

Sunday the act was being performed at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence when something went terribly wrong. The clamp holding up the apparatus snapped and the performers fell to the ground.

Many of the women suffered broken bones. Pitard suffered fractures to her spine, a cut on her head and a badly bitten tongue. She was released from Rhode Island Hospital Tuesday. The 23–year–old said she was the only one in her troupe that is able to walk on her own. The others need assistance or haven't yet tried because they are still undergoing surgery.

Pitard says she remembers everything about the fall which happened about 45 minutes into the program. She says rescuers were able to get to them quickly and free them from the 350 pound chandelier which had landed on top of them.

"I saw my troupe leader, she was right next to me, and I heard her say that she couldn't feel her legs," Samantha Pitard told The Associated Press after being released from a hospital Tuesday.

Despite the fall Pitard plans to return to the circus and once again perform the hair hanging stunt.

" gotta get back up and do it again," she told the AP.

According to the last update from the hospital 4 performers remain in serious condition. 3 patients have asked that their conditions not be made public.

The hospital is holding a press conference Wednesday morning to provide an update.

The broken clamp has been turned over to OSHA which is handling the investigation.

The circus has moved to its next stop in Hartford, CT. The first performance since the terrifying fall is scheduled for Thursday.

*Information provided by AP

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