R.I. circus accident hits close to home in Boston - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

R.I. circus accident hits close to home in Boston

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BOSTON (WHDH) - A Sunday incident where a platform collapsed at a Rhode Island circus during a performance is hitting members of the Big Apple Circus at City Hall close to home.

When accidents like the one that happened at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus show in Providence, it affects the circus community.

"The circus is a small community. We all know each other. Within 10 minutes of this accident happening we got word over here immediately," said John Kennedy Kane, ringmaster at the Big Apple Circus in Boston.

Officials said that performers at the Big Apple Circus, which has been at City Hall Plaza for more than a month, planned to gather before Sunday night's show to take a moment to think about the incident in Rhode Island.

"We are in a very dangerous business, and you are reminded of how dangerous it is," Kane said.

Scott Wallace worked for Cirque du Soleil for 13 years as a technical director and says that performers make the job look easy, but the danger is what fills the seats.

"What those people do is literally life and death every day, and they do it because they love to entertain and they love what they do. but it literally is life and death ever day that they go up," Wallace said.

It's dangerous even with daily safety inspections and performers checking their own equipment, according to Wallace.

11 patients have been admitted to a Rhode Island hospital with injuries, including one in critical condition.

A Ringling Bros. aerial performer was killed in 2004 in St. Paul, Minnesota, when she was twirling 30 feet in the air on long chiffon scarves and the material gave way.

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