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Horrifying moment acrobats drop six metres

This is the horrifying moment eight acrobats plunged six metres to the floor and suffered broken bones and spine injuries.Eight aerialists were suspended by their hair during a 2014 Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus performance in Providence, Rhode Island, when the frightening fall took place, The Sun reported.The acrobats‘ stunt equipment failed to…

This is the horrifying moment eight acrobats plunged six metres to the floor and suffered broken bones and spine injuries.

Eight aerialists were suspended by their hair during a 2014 Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus performance in Providence, Rhode Island, when the frightening fall took place, The Sun reported.

The acrobats‘ stunt equipment failed to work when a metal clip broke during the show.

This prompted eight women to drop more than six metres to the ground – landing on a dancer, The New York Times reported.

All nine performers were rushed to the hospital after suffering “life altering” injuries.

Video footage of the “hanging hair act” – which has been shared to YouTube and viewed more than 2.4 million times – shows the moment the performers abruptly crash to the indoor arena‘s floor.

Just moments after a colourful curtain unveiled the hair act – people gasped with amazement at the sight.

Eight women appeared to be hanging by their hair in a circle above the circus ring.

As the show‘s announcer welcomed the performers, he began to say: “Suspended only by the strength of …”

However, he was unable to finish his sentence as the equipment and the performers came crashing to the ground.

The eight women received a $US52.5 million ($A70 million) settlement on December 21, 2020 – after filing a lawsuit against the Convention Centre Authority and SMG in 2016.

According to Zachary Mandell, a Providence-based lawyer, the women settled with the company that manages The Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

“There were catastrophic, life altering injuries at issue and so this type of money, really will be able to help the clients live a better life, live a life that helps them with the needs they require, and there are many of those,” Mr Mandell told NBC 10 News.

“There are safety standards and safety features that were supposed to be in place for every event, no matter whether it’s the circus, or whether you’re dealing with, you know, college basketball.

“Those were not used, they were not utilised for this performance, and so that is where our claims against the arena derived from.”

The performers’ employer, Feld Entertainment, was not hit with a lawsuit by the women.

Feld Entertainment was fined $7000 in 2014 by The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA‘s investigation concluded that “the carabiner used to support the performers failed from being improperly loaded”.

The administration also revealed there “was no redundancy in the system” for the ”hanging hair act,” the Times reported.

An OSHA reported explained: “There is no document available to indicate that the rigging supporting several performers was ever reviewed and checked by a professional engineer for its structural adequacy and performance.”

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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