Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus acrobats seriously injured after falling from platform

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A circus accident in Rhode Island has sent 11 people to the hospital, including one in critical condition.

Nine performers were seriously hurt when a platform collapsed during an aerial hair-hanging stunt during the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus' Legends show in Providence. Several other people suffered minor injuries.

A spokesman for Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Brothers, says the accident happened during an act in which eight women hang "like a human chandelier" using their hair. He says the metal-frame apparatus the performers were hanging from came free from a metal truss. The women fell 25 to 40 feet, landing on a dancer on the ground.

Inspectors haven't yet determined what caused the accident.

Two shows scheduled for later Sunday have been canceled.

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