While injured acrobats recover, circus goes on

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 8, 2014 at 6:23 pm •  Published: May 8, 2014
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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has opened an eight-show run in Connecticut, while seven acrobats remain in a Rhode Island hospital after an accident during a performance there Sunday.

The circus runs in Hartford through the weekend. The "human chandelier" stunt, in which performers hang by their hair from a suspended apparatus, won't be performed.

Two of the acrobats injured in the accident have been upgraded to fair condition. Two others remain in serious condition, while three have requested that information on their conditions not be released. One of the acrobats was released from the hospital.

Feld Entertainment spokesman Stephen Payne says that federal health and safety inspectors and circus officials do not have a definitive cause for the accident that sent eight acrobats plummeting to the ground.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was set to open in Hartford on Thursday, four days after an acrobatic stunt went awry, injuring nine performers and abruptly halting the circus in Providence, Rhode Island.

While seven of the acrobats injured while performing in a hair-hanging stunt remain in the hospital, including at least two in serious condition, the circus was scheduled to perform eight shows in Hartford through Sunday.

"I'm pleased to report that our performers are continuing to improve," circus spokesman Stephen Payne said at a news conference Thursday.

The condition of two of the acrobats has been upgraded to fair and two others remain in serious condition. Three others have asked that their medical conditions not be made public.

Federal health and safety inspectors and circus officials have not identified a "definitive cause" for the aerial accident that sent eight acrobats plummeting to the ground, Payne said. A clip at the top of the apparatus snapped, dropping the acrobats about 20 feet to the ground.

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