The high wire performers were injured during practice for a Friday show
Five performers were injured Wednesday after tumbling from a high-wire act during a circus practice in Sarasota, Florida, officials said.
One performer is listed as a trauma alert, according to a tweet from the Sarasota County government.
The incident occurred as eight performers practiced on the high wire for Circus Sarasota’s Friday show. One performer lost balance, according to Pedro Reis, founder and CEO of the Circus Arts Conservatory.
The five performers fell 25 to 30 feet, said Drew Winchester with Sarasota Fire Rescue.
Rios said the rigging did not collapse. It was not clear whether was a safety net in place.
Well-known daredevil Nik Wallenda was among three performers on the wire who were not injured, Reis said.
Wallenda wowed audiences when he crossed tightropes over landmarks like the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls and the downtown Chicago skyline.
The group was practicing a pyramid trick inside the tent at the University Town Center in Sarasota, Circus Arts Conservatory co-founder Pedro Reis said. The Bradenton Herald initially reported the high wire collapsed, citing Manatee County Public Safety, but Reis said that was not the case.
“We had a terrible accident,” he told reporters. He predicted it could take months for the injured performers to recover. They suffered orthopedic and pelvic injuries, according to hospital workers.
Daredevil performer Nik Wallenda waves during a news conference after he walked untethered along the rim of the Orlando Eye, the city’s new, 400-foot observation wheel, Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Orlando, Fla. The walk is being done in advance of next month’s public opening of the attraction.
Reis defended his circus performers, saying they “push the limit” like NASCAR or Formula One racers.
The show, entitled “Synergy,” was scheduled to have its first performance this Friday. Reis said the circus had a Plan B in place, adding, “The show must go on.”
The show advertised itself as featuring “an impressive array of international circus stars.” It was scheduled to run through March 5.
Nik Wallenda made headlines in recent years with daring tightrope walks at landmarks including Niagara Falls and two Chicago skyscrapers.
Quotes in this story are from ASSOCIATED PRESS