Horror as circus acrobat faces 'life-changing injuries' after falling 30ft in ‘Wheel of Death’ stunt

14 December 2023, 15:37 | Updated: 14 December 2023, 15:48

The man is facing life-changing injuries.
The man is facing life-changing injuries. Picture: Hippodrome Circus

By Jenny Medlicott

A circus acrobat performer was hospitalised with potential “life-changing injuries” after falling more than 30ft from the “wheel of death”.

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The acrobat, believed to be a man in his 20s, fell at least 10 metres from the circus apparatus at the Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, on Wednesday evening.

The Zippos Christmas Circus show was immediately stopped and the ambulance service was called.

Police arrived at the incident around 7:37pm.

Eyewitnesses said the man crashed into metal scaffolding before hitting the ground.

The man’s partner in the circus act was his brother who accompanied him to James Paget University Hospital along with circus staff.

He was later transferred to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge.

Police said the man had suffered potentially life-changing injuries.

It is believed the man was conscious after the fall and suffered from multiple broken bones, according to Ringmaster Jack Jay.

Mr Jay said: “It looked like mis-timing. He went to jump through one of the wheels and slipped, landing on the floor.”

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In a statement, the circus said: “During the 6.30pm performance of The Christmas Spectacular last night one of our stunt performers fell from the large performance wheel.

“The performer remained conscious, but it was clear he had sustained some injuries.

“So the decision was made for the show to be stopped for the evening and the public exited.

“The artiste in question received immediate medical attention, paramedics then moved him to a medical facility for further evaluation.

“We are under the impression that he is in a stable condition and has been evaluated overnight.”

Health and safety officials are expected to investigate the fall and the circus apparatus.

Police are investigating to establish the cause of the fall.

A police spokeswoman said: “The man sustained serious, potentially life-changing injuries, and was taken by ambulance to the James Paget Hospital, and later transferred to Addenbrookes Hospital where he remains in a stable condition.

“A seal was put in place at the scene overnight, but this has since been lifted.

“Officers are working with the local authorities to establish the circumstances that led to the incident.”

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: “One ambulance, one rapid response vehicle, an ambulance officer vehicle and East Anglian Air Ambulance were called to St George's Road, Great Yarmouth last night (Wednesday) following reports of a man injured in a fall.

“One patient was transported to James Paget Hospital (in Gorleston) with serious injuries.”

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