SARASOTA, FL. - Video has been released of a terrifying circus accident involving performer Nik Wallenda and several other acrobats.
The accident happened in February 2017.
The accident occurred under the Circus Sarasota Big Top as eight performers practiced their high-wire pyramid stunt just two days before the Circus Sarasota Synergy show was scheduled to open. Four people held the bottom while two were on the next layer, then one carried the final person on their shoulders. Wallenda, famed circus performer and nine-time Guinness World Record holder, was the anchor at the bottom of the pyramid.
Something went wrong and five people came crashing to the ground.
Rietta, his aunt, was sitting at the very top of the pyramid on the shoulders of a man who also fell, according to his cousin Rick Wallenda. She’ll have ankle and shoulder surgery Friday, followed eventually by hip surgery.
Nik Wallenda’s sister, Lijana, was one of the people on the second layer and had the worst injuries.
Wallenda was able to grab onto the wire with his cousin Blake and another performer. Two of the other performers have “bumps and scrapes and bruises.” The last, who fell 40 feet from the top, only has three broken toes, Wallenda said.
Wallenda told the media he doesn’t know exactly what happened, saying that someone could have blacked out. But Rick Wallenda contends there’s more specifics.
“(Rietta) was at the very top and she saw what was going on right below her, and the person right below her was out of control with her balancing pole,” Rick Wallenda said.
That person was Lijana, Rick Wallenda said.
Wallenda posted this video to his Instagram account following the release of the video.
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