(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) -- A day at the circus turned into a horror show in Providence, Rhode Island, Sunday as spectators watched eight aerial performers fall 30 feet to the ground, seriously injuring themselves and a dancer. All the victims were women.
Injuries to the performers included multiple broken bones, head injuries, and lacerations although none were considered life-threatening.
Meanwhile, no spectators were hurt during the performance of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus at Providence's Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
City officials said that a piece of malfunctioning apparatus that also collapsed may have been responsible for the accident.
Ringling Brothers said that the aerial performers were involved in a routine called the hair act that shows them apparently hanging by their hair from an apparatus.
The Dunkin' Donuts Center was packed with 4,000 adults and children for the 11 a.m. show. Although there were screams when the performers hit the ground, at least one person could be heard saying, "Were they supposed to fall like that?" The rest of the day's shows were cancelled.
The accident is now being investigated by local officials and members of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio