Circus act that plunged performers to the ground developed in Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. - Eleven people with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey were seriously injured when an act they were performing failed.

That act called The Human Chandelier was developed and perfected at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. Performers spent the end of last year practicing it and took it on the road in January.

Fans in Rhode Island watched as the act started. When the curtain dropped eight performers were suspended by their hair.

Seconds later the entire structure plunged to the ground. It took the eight performers with it, falling on top of a dancer below . Two support staff were also injured.

Steve Pare is the Providence Commissioner for Public Safety. he says, "They are in critical, but expected to be non-life threatening injuries. A lot of broken bones, etc."

One witness adds, "First I thought it was the act. We see them. They were doing acrobat with their hair."

Another holding a child said, "Was worried for the people, for their well fare. Hopefully they are all right."

The General Manager for this traveling circus troop held back tears talking about the performers.

"We ask everybody to pray for the girls and everybody on the act."

Three of the four remaining performances in Rhode Island were canceled. The owner of the center where the circus performed said there would be no arial acts at the last remaining show.

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