Circus Temporarily Shut Down After Two Serious Injuries To Performers In 4 Days

Published July 24, 2019 (last updated July 17, 2020) -

A circus in Adelaide has been shutdown by South Australia’s work health and safety watchdog after a two serious accidents at the show. The circus has confirmed both incidents.

SafeWork SA auditors issued nine prohibition notices, according to the ABC, finding issues with the rigging, winches, electrical equipment and proper trade licensing.

An acrobat at the circus was injured last week when she slipped while performing a routine with a ring, falling ten metres to the ground and fracturing her wrists and elbows.

The circus’ director said the acrobat was expected to make a full recovery, adding that “she’s done that trick a million times, but unfortunately, sometimes [this] happens … and she just missed the bar”.

Four days after that incident, a stunt bike rider crashed, breaking his back in three places, puncturing his lung and suffering serious facial injuries.

Taking to Facebook, the circus said “we here at Circus Rio are behind Ben and his family and will support him in every way and wish him a speedy recovery.”

In a statement, SafeWork SA said that before the show can return, WHS issues must be resolved.

“These issues must be resolved and compliance met before the related items and equipment can be used,” the statement said.

“Worker and public safety is our paramount concern.”

The circus is currently touring around Australia, and is set to move on to New South Wales next month. Currently performing in Glenelg, in South Australia, the local municipality has also ordered the circus to temporarily cease operations.

Responding to the incidents, the circus posted to Facebook that it was having regular meetings with auditors to ensure the safety of its performers.

“Together we have identified issues that are currently being rectified, another meeting is due to take place [on Wednesday] morning for the all-clear, we will issue another statement once this has taken place,” the statement said.

“We look forward to ensuring a fun and safe Wednesday 7pm show for all our guests and performers.”

The circus also shared pictures of the two performers recovering in hospital, with both said to be in “high spirits”.

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