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Acrobat critically injured in 11-metre fall in front of packed audience

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 16/07/2019 Tom Angley

A female circus performer has plunged close to 11-metres, during a school holiday performance in Adelaide.

The woman was performing her act on a ring suspended close to the top of the Circus Rio big top, when the accident happened just before 5pm.

Ambulances and a medical retrieval team rushed to Wigley Reserve, Glenelg where the woman was stabilised before being taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

SafeWork SA has launched an investigation after a circus performer fell during a packed show in Glenelg this evening. © 9News SafeWork SA has launched an investigation after a circus performer fell during a packed show in Glenelg this evening.

Stunned families were watching the performance at the time, some telling 9News they were at first unsure if the plunge was part of the show, but the reaction of other circus staff made it clear a terrible accident had just occurred.

"She had the ring behind her neck and the next thing she just went bang, to the ground," witness Alice Young said.

"People came running, and then we were asked to leave.

"Someone came with a microphone and said 'thanks for your understanding, can everyone please exit immediately'."

9News has been sent vision of the shocking moment, in which the performer appears to lose her grip, as some in the crowd gasp and scream.

An update on the performer's condition had not yet been released this evening.

Safework SA officers have launched an investigation.

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