A CIRCUS acrobat was flung off the Wheel of Death, smashed into a metal barrier and landed unconscious in the audience.
Khalid, a 27-year-old performer from Morocco, had just leapt on to the spinning metal cage as part of the finale act when he lost his grip.
A performer known as Khalid had a lucky escape after falling from the Wheel of Death, smashing into a metal barrier and landing unconscious in the audience[/caption]
He was thrown off and smashed into a metal barrier before landing unconscious in the front row.
Some of the audience thought it was part of the act until two fellow acrobats rushed to his aid and carried him out of the big top.
The air ambulance was called and he was rushed to hospital.
A 29-year-old mum of two who witnessed the accident at Circus Mondao, in Silsden, West Yorkshire, said: “It was awful to see. I felt sick.
“It was the last act and they obviously leave the most dangerous to the end. It’s a big rotating arm with two open circles at either end.
LANDED ON HIS HEAD
“The acrobats run round the circles at the same time picking up speed and then they climb on the outside of circles and carry on running while it is spinning.
“As they got it moving this guy jumped up with his hands to grab it. But he lost his grip and went head first into the audience and landed on his head.
“People were in shock. For a moment I thought it was part of the act but quickly realised it wasn’t.
“He could have broken his neck. He was out of it.”
His two fellow acrobats continued with the show as Khalid was taken to hospital after the accident around 7pm on Thursday.
For a moment I thought it was part of the act but quickly realised it wasn’t. He could have broken his neck.
He was later released and was yesterday recovering. He is expected to be performing again with the travelling circus in a few days.
Ring Mistress Petra Jackson said: “He is battered and bruised but thankfully no broken bones. He has been doing this act for five years and this is the first time he has been hurt like this.
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“It was the finale act, the Wheel of Death. He lost his grip at the start of and came off the wheel and unfortunately hit the barrier round the edge and fell within the audience.
“He is a professional artist who has done this act twice a day for the last five years and this is the first time he has been injured in this way.
“People enjoy watching the thrills and spills of the circus but often don’t realise how death-defying they are and how much skill the performers have.”
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