Acrobat fights for life after shock fall
Shocking footage has emerged showing the moment a 30-year-old circus performer fell six metres in front of dismayed audience members when her stunt backfired.
The recent accident left Yelena Prikhodskaya, an acrobat with Russia's Vladivostok State Circus, fighting for her life.
In a video of her ill-fated act, the young woman twists on a high rope without safety equipment before apparently losing her grip and attempting to grab hold of the rope. She then plunges to the ground as families watch on.
Colleagues rushed to Ms Prikhodskaya's aid and she was taken to hospital after suffering a cranial fracture, The Mirror reported.
"The administration of Vladivostok State Circus is already working with police to find out the reasons for the accident and is closely monitoring Yelena's condition," the circus said in a statement, according to the publication.
Vladivostok State Circus also claimed the incident was caused by a "human factor" and not an equipment "defect".
Local media have reported she remains in hospital in intensive care.
Meanwhile, a second distressing incident at a separate Russian circus also occurred on the same day as Ms Prikhodskaya's fall.
According to the Daily Mail, rope walker Sergey Makarov was performing in the city of Tolyatti when he fell from a height after losing his balance during his act.
He later sent a message to fans from hospital, writing simply: "I'm alive."
Earlier this year, Circus Rio made headlines following two separate, serious accidents in four days in Glenelg in Adelaide.
In July, a Circus Rio motorcyclist was seriously injured after crashing in the Glenelg big top before a horrified crowd, while just days earlier an aerial performer on a trapeze suddenly plunged 8.5 metres to the floor.
Both performers were injured and the incidents prompted SafeWork SA to investigate the possibility of shutting down the circus, although it was eventually cleared to continue.