An acrobat is in intensive care after falling nearly 50 feet through a safety net during a show at a Moscow circus.
Christopher Kazungu, 22, who is Kenyan born, was rushed to hospital with severe injuries from the fall, including a fractured vertebra.
He is understood not to have been paralyzed.
Amateur video footage of the tragedy was aired on Russian television, and shows decisive moment when the acrobat fell through the safety net and on to the arena floor during the show on Wednesday evening.
The Great Moscow State Circus wrote on its website on Thursday that Kazungu was conscious when he was taken to the hospital. Edgard Zapashny, director of the circus told RIA Novosti News Agency that the acrobat had fractured one vertebra.
The Kenyan was one of a dozen Russian and Kenyan performers taken part in the complex acrobatics display.
Reportedly, the net broke under Kazungu’s fall and slowed his impact to the ground, which may have mitigated his still serious injuries somewhat.
Zapashnu has since told Russian news outlets that the Moscow State Circus has never had any incidents of this kind before, and that the German-made safety net had been rigorously tested before use.
The Moscow State Circus was in the headlines last month when a circus trainer was mauled to death by one of his tigers in front of a packed audience.
Alexander Crispin Suarez, 35, was attacked by the big cat as he performed at a circus show in Northern Mexico.
But Moscow State Circus performer Vladimir Georgievskiy, 42, who will shortly be leaving the circus for employment in Las Vegas, previously said:
“A circus without accidents is not a circus. I’ve broken my nose three time, torn ligaments, and broken my ankles, knees, back and neck. It is all part of the job we do and we face it on a daily basis. While we bring happiness to the people we perform for, we also have to deal with great sadness for our friends who have lost their lives.”