Among all the joys a circus can deliver, the ultimate thrill of watching acrobats bewilders the audience with difficult stunts. It is as if the acrobats have learned to erase their sense of self-preservation for the sake of the business.
As such, accidents are not uncommon, and they have been inevitable parts of this entertainment industry probably since the beginning of it all.
The safety of most acrobatic acts relies on two things: first, the performers’ athletic abilities, and second, how well the apparatuses are put together.
But even if all preparations have been done and precautions are taken, the possibility of an accident remains lurking somewhere in the corner.
There have been plenty of unfortunate circumstances where even the most skilled acrobats couldn’t tackle the challenges of the stunts, leading to fatal accidents and deaths.
Among the easily memorable ones was the end of Karl Wallenda, who in 1978 fell from a 120-foot high-wire act on a televised promotional event in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Almost the entire show sequence and the eventual fall weres filmed by a local station.
10 /10 Founder Of The Great Wallendas
Karl Wallenda was the leader and founder of the Flying Wallendas (formerly the Great Wallendas), one of the most famous high-wire walkers in circus history.
On March 22, 1978, he performed his usual high-wire act in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as part of a promotional event for the Pan American Circus.
He was 73-years-old. The stunt turned out to be the last one Karl ever did. Several hundred people witnessed Karl fall upon a vehicle and then bounce to the ground from what must have been at least 120-foot high-wire.
9 /10 Beachfront Hotels
The promotional act required Karl to walk across a tightly strung 750-foot cable between two beachfront hotels, the Flamboyan Hotel and the Condado Holiday Inn.
The line stretched right across the street below. About halfway to the other end, a strong ocean wind suddenly picked up at a speed of around 30 knots.
The cable seemed to be dancing around beneath Karl’s feet, forcing him to struggle to maintain balance.
In the end, the wind proved to be too strong for him to cope with. Immediately after the fall, Karl was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead upon arrival.