circus

John Bender / RIPR FILE

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus opens in Providence Thursday nearly a year after a tragic accident injured nine performers.  Some of the acrobats are still recovering from their injuries.

Last May, during a performance in Providence, a group of eight acrobats hung by their hair some 35 feet above the stage floor. They were sent plunging to the ground when a clamp that was part of their equipment failed.  The performers and one person on the ground suffered fractured legs, wrists, even necks.

Injured Circus Performers Plan To File Lawsuit

Jun 18, 2014
John Bender / RIPR

Four of the eight acrobats injured in a hair-hanging circus accident are filing a lawsuit.  They’re all still dealing with injuries and some may never walk again.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Homemade cards and flowers are pouring in to Rhode Island Hospital for the seven injured circus acrobats who remain hospitalized there. That’s buoyed the performers’ spirits, four of whom are still in serious condition.

John Bender / RIPR

Investigators say a clamp that held up an apparatus snapped, sending eight acrobats plunging 35 feet to the ground, falling on a dancer below. It happened on Sunday during a circus act where women dangle high above the ground from their hair.

If your kids were at Sunday's Ringling Bros. circus performance in Providence, they might be asking some tough questions now or needing comfort and reassurance. Or it might be too soon to tell how witnessing something so traumatic has affected them. Either way, it can be tough to know what to say, to balance the truth about life - that bad things can happen to anyone without warning - with the protection kids sometimes need from the world's harshest realities.