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Snapped clamp eyed in circus accident; 2 critical

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A spokesman for the parent company of the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus says the prognosis of eight acrobats who fell during an aerial performance hasn’t been determined, but they’re hopeful they will return to the show.

Stephen Payne says the women suffered a number of broken bones and other injuries consistent with a 30-foot fall during Sunday’s accident in Rhode Island.

Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare told WPRO-AM on Monday that a clamp for the rigging that held the women to the rafters snapped.

Payne says it’s premature to attribute the accident to a particular clamp, and an investigation is ongoing.

He says the rigging was inspected by a circus crew when it was installed last week. He didn’t know whether it was inspected after that.

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