A Chinese acrobat fell to her death during an aerial performance with her husband in Anhui province, China.
The tragic incident, which was captured on camera, took place during an acrobatic show just before 9 p.m. local time on Saturday in Hougao village in the city of Suzhou.
The woman, identified as Sun, and her acrobatic partner and husband, Zhang, were hoisted into the air in front of audiences for a high-flying trapeze performance. In a viral video of the incident, Zhang can be seen holding onto the ropes with both hands as Sun clings onto him. As they get higher, Sun appears to lose her grip and Zhang fails to catch Sun with his legs.
Warning: The following video contains content that may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.
Sun, who fell about 30 feet to the ground, was immediately rushed to the hospital. However, the performer succumbed to her injuries and was later pronounced dead. She leaves behind her two children with Zhang.
The incident prompted an immediate cancellation of the event and an investigation into the accident.
According to witnesses, there were no safety lines or measures, including landing pads, in place.
Sun and Zhang had reportedly been working together for many years and often performed stunts without safety belts. According to Chinese media outlet The Paper, the couple were arguing at the time of the incident, and although Sun was told to wear safety lines, she allegedly refused.
However, Zhang denied the claim.
“We were always happy together. There was no fight. As I am in the middle of the process of dealing with all of this, I can’t disclose any specific details at this time,” he told Yangzi Evening News.
According to What’s On Weibo, performers are allegedly paid more for high-risk acts in the competitive industry. The couple reportedly earned 2,000 yuan (approximately $290) for each performance.
Local authorities in Suzhou’s Yongqiao district are currently investigating the incident and determining the legal responsibilities of those involved.
Anhui Yaxi Performing Arts Media Company and a local business owner are reportedly behind the show, according to preliminary investigations.
The company, which was established in 2018, was given a fine of 50,000 yuan (approximately $7,260) by the local tourism office for organizing the event without authorization from local authorities.