When you visit a circus, you expect to have a good time and see a few tricks and performances that will surprise and impress you.
The last thing you expect to witness is a horrible accident.
Several circus performers were injured during a Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus’ Legends show in Providence, Rhode Island on Sunday when a platform collapsed and caused several acrobats to fall 35 feet to the ground.
Luckily, no one in the audience was harmed, but many people were shaken up by the incident.
A disaster distress hotline has been set up, and Providence Public Safety is offering free counseling from trained counselors to people who were in the audience.
A spokesperson for Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus said that an investigation is underway to determine what caused the platform to collapse. He insisted that all of the equipment used during the acts is carefully inspected before each show.
“Each and every time that we come to a new venue, all of the equipment that is used by this performer — this group of performers as well as other performers — is carefully inspected. We take the health and safety of our performers and our guests very seriously, and our company has a safety department that spends countless hours making sure that all of our equipment is indeed safe and effective for continued use,” spokesman Stephen Payne said.
The accident occurred during the Medeiros Hair-Hang Act, where several women hang and spin by their hair.
The Rhode Island State Fire Marshal and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are conducting an investigation separate from the one the circus is conducting, but says that the circus was fully responsible for the setup of the show.
“We will do whatever it takes to come to the bottom of this, make sure that when the show goes back — starts to perform again — it’s safe,” said Lawrence Lepore, general manager of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
What do you think could have caused the platform to collapse?
Image via Wikimedia Commons