Acrobat fell to death during illegal performance: investigation team
Published: Apr 19, 2023 01:52 AM
Photo: Sina Weibo

Photo: Sina Weibo

An investigation has found that an incident in which an acrobat died in a fall was an accident. The contractor for the show is being held responsible for not seeking approval in advance and for a lack of safety protection in the illegal performance.

In the accidental fall on Friday, the acrobat, surnamed Sun, fell from the air while the dual team members were showing off their aerial acrobatic skills with difficult moves, soon after they were lifted in the air by a winch, as seen in live footage.

While the public expressed condolences and sympathy over the incident, the subsequent debate between the performance company and Sun's husband and partner over the cause of the accident raised further concerns.

On Saturday, a manager surnamed Wang from the performance company claimed in an interview that the couple were experienced performers but had  an argument on the night of the accident and Sun did not fasten her safety belt. Sun's partner and husband later refuted these claims, stating that they had not been in dispute before the accident and maintained a good relationship.

An official release from Yongqiao county's investigation team revealed that the acrobatic performance contractor, Anhui Yaxi Performing Art Media, did not follow required procedures to report to the concerned authorities for approval, rendering the performance illegal.

The company also failed to provide essential emergency safety protection during the performance and violated regulations by using a crane to move Sun.

The investigation team discovered that the organizer of the performance, surnamed Yin, signed a contract with Anhui Yaxi Performing Art Media on March 26th to schedule performances on April 15th and 16th in Yinlou village.

On April 15, Anhui Yaxi Performing Art Media invited Sun and her husband, surnamed Zhang, to perform acrobatics. The two parties agreed with the terms, verbally. 

At 8:53 pm that night, during the performance, Sun fell from a height to the stage and injured herself. She was rushed to the hospital by ambulance, but succumbed to her injuries around 11 pm.

According the official release, Anhui Yaxi Performing Art Media has reached a compensation agreement with the relatives of the deceased. The district’s authorities will deal with the company’s violations of the Regulation on the Administration of Commercial Performances. 

The incident also revealed that the relevant supervision was not in place, said the release. The district’s disciplinary authorities have initiated accountability measures for the responsible departments and individuals.

The district also vows to learn deeply from the incident and strengthen the management of the performing arts market.

The incident stirred public concern about the safety of aerial acrobatic performances, with many netizens urging for stronger safety management and government supervision of the acrobatic industry to ensure that all performances takes place in safe environments.