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Ringling Bros. Inspecting, Replacing Fasteners in All Touring Groups Following Sunday’s Accident

Acrobats continue to recover from injuries sustained during Sunday performance in Providence, RI.

Circus workers in Providence pack away equipment yesterday. Photo Credit: Matthew Healey, Boston Herald
Circus workers in Providence pack away equipment yesterday. Photo Credit: Matthew Healey, Boston Herald
By Liz Taurasi

In the wake of Sunday’s horrifying circus accident where acrobats suspended from their hair plummeted to the ground, all Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circuses touring the U.S. are inspecting and replacing the steel fasteners which could be to blame for the accident.

The Boston Herald is reporting a spokesman said the circus is replacing all carabiners, after one broke Sunday during a performance dropping acrobats 25-40 feet to the ground. Stephen Payne of Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros. told the Herald while they don’t know if the fastener is the singular cause of the accident, they are taking every precaution.

The conditions of the eight acrobats being treated at a Rhode Island hospital are improving, WCVB-TV, Channel 5 Boston is reporting. None are listed in critical condition.

“Hair-Hanging” is an incredibly painful, highly specialized art, according to an Associated Press report in the Boston Herald. The report says the performance art is confined to families who pass down their secrets from generation to generation and is practiced by less than a dozen families around the world.

OSHA is investigating the accident.
SPH May 06, 2014 at 09:31 AM
Video of the accident is brutal. Glad I didn't bring the family to that performance. TV report cited a 5" D-ring clamp, designed to hold 10,000 lbs, failed to hold just 1500 lbs. So many lives hinging on just one little clamp? That doesn't sound right.
mAggressor May 06, 2014 at 10:01 AM
Rosie O'Donnell: I've never seen steel act like that! Inside job! Inside job! http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/engineering/4213805
Frank Mulligan May 06, 2014 at 08:25 PM
I hope all of you make a fast recovery. Best of Luck.

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