(NBC News) – Today investigators are trying to figure out why eight women fell from a high wire at the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus matinee in Rhode Island Sunday.
They were forming a human chandelier, hanging only by their hair, when it happened.
The federal government is helping investigate why the platform collapse. At least 11 people went to the hospital, including all eight performers.
It’s not what children and their parents expected to see.
Some thought it was part of the act when eight women – hanging only by their hair – came crashing down on a ninth person at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Rhode Island Sunday. “We thought it was part of the show. And then all of a sudden – you seen the cable break,” said one eyewitness
“It was scary. It was. It was really scary,” said another.
All nine suffered serious injuries – mostly broken bones. None are believed to be life-threatening. Some required surgery.
This morning we’ve learned the circus is considering flying their families in from Ukraine, Brazil and Bulgaria.
It was a 25 to 40 foot drop.
Still unknown: why that platform collapsed. “Within the next 24 hours, I believe that with the help of OSHA, the state and local officials will have a good idea of what failed,” said Larry Lepore from the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
OSHA – the occupational safety and health administration – is helping providence public safety commissioners investigate.
Two more Sunday shows were canceled. Today’s shows have been approved – without the high wire acts.