Female trapeze artist plunges 16ft in front of circus crowd

·2-min read
The performer is believed to have broken her collarbone and shoulder while doing aerial acrobatics (Flickr/Sludge G)
The performer is believed to have broken her collarbone and shoulder while doing aerial acrobatics (Flickr/Sludge G)

A trapeze artist has been airlifted to hospital after she dropped 16ft from the roof of a circus tent.

The woman, who Santus Circus identified on social media as a performer called Meghan, was injured in the accident at Barton’s Point Coastal Park in Sheerness, Kent, on Thursday night.

Ernest Santus, co-owner of the family-run touring circus, said that she is believed to have “lost her balance” in the big top tent, and broken her shoulder and collarbone when she dropped to the ground.

He said that Meghan was able to talk to him while they waited 30 minutes for emergency services to arrive.

An off-duty fireman and ambulance driver that were in the audience also rushed to her aid before the ambulance arrived. Police cars were also pictured at the scene.

Mr Santus told The Mirror: “At first she was not moving but after she was talking to me, she said ‘I’m sorry’ – but these things happen sometimes. She’s okay but in hospital at the moment. We think she lost her balance.”

The accident happened during the first act of a show, that started at 7.30pm and was cancelled after Meghan’s fall. She also performed in the preceding show that started at 5pm that same evening.

Attendees reportedly said that their young children had enquired about her wellbeing before they went to sleep that night.

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The circus wrote in a statement posted to social media on Friday: “The tragic accident of our highly trained aerialist, Meghan, falling during her routine in last night’s performance has left us all shaken and saddened.

“She is currently awaiting treatment for her injuries in hospital. We will have further updates on her condition when we know, but our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.

“We would also like to ask in respect for Meghan that any images or videos of her accident not be shared to social media, thank you.

“She has been and still is a very important member of our team/family and we are hoping she can get back to us as soon as she can.

“We would like to thank you all on her behalf who have sent her best wishes and we will show them to her when she returns.

“Everyone here at Santus Circus are wishing her a speedy recovery so she can return to what she loves doing – performing. Get well soon Meghan”.

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A spokesman for South East Coast Ambulance Services confirmed that Meghan fell from “a height of approximately five metres.”

He added: “Ambulance crews attended and it was a female patient who was assessed and treated at the scene before being taken to Medway Maritime Hospital with injuries including concern for a potential spine injury.”

The local authority has been made aware of the incident and “will investigate accordingly,” the spokesman also said.

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