9 circus performers seriously hurt during acrobat act

Photo: Andrew Adamson/WPRI)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Emergency crews were called to the Dunkin Donuts Center in downtown Providence, Rhode Island Sunday afternoon for reports of an accident involving circus performers.

Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré confirmed nine performers with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus were seriously injured when a device fell. He said there were other minor injuries as well, but did not have an exact number.

A circus official said all of the injured, who were performing a “hair hang” aerial act at the time, are conscious at Rhode Island Hospital.

The accident happened at the 11 a.m. show. Those who saw the accident told our sister station WPRI, the performers fell about 30 feet down into the center of the arena.

At least 10 ambulances from Providence and surrounding areas responded to the Dunkin Donuts Center. A fire department dispatcher told Eyewitness News all chiefs were there as of 1:20 p.m.

The circus arrived in town Friday and had shows scheduled to run through Monday. Dunkin Donuts Center General Manager Larry Lepore said the 3 p.m. show was cancelled.

Photo Gallery: Circus performers injured in fall


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