An acrobat has some inherent risks when performing. Audience members at a Colorado show may be worried that the people could fall during an act, leading to on-the-job injury cases. Fortunately, most shows will go off without a hitch, though that wasn’t the case earlier this year.
A carabiner gauged to hold 10,000 pounds was supporting eight acrobats weighing roughly 1,500 pounds at a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in May when it failed. The acrobats, who were hanging by their hair, fell 15 to 20 feet to the ground, causing severe spinal cord injuries, open fractures and even a lacerated liver. A ninth person on the ground also suffered injuries when the acrobats fell. While two of the performers have returned from work, a spokesperson for the circus said there are no plans to resume the act.