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Circus victims: 10 tragic cases that occurred in the arena

“Only the tiger is not clear that he is trained, because I have many scars” – these words from the song of Mikhail Boyarsky about the difficult work of the trainer are well known to everyone. The circus is associated with exciting performances, aerial gymnasts under the dome, funny clowns, clever jugglers and acrobats, but it also happens that the arena becomes a place where the real drama unfolds. Just one wrong move or look, and the artist’s life is on the line…
1. Trapeze Karo Christopher Kazungu
In 2013, a group of acrobats from Kenya came to Moscow for a tour. Artists showed dizzying tricks, the highlight of the program was the jump of Caro-Christopher Kazungu from a height of 30 meters. The artist performed the number brilliantly, along with his relatives from Africa came to the performance, they could not miss the triumph in the Vernadsky circus.

However the destiny has disposed in another way: during execution of a jump to Kasungu collapsed to the arena. The fall was supposed to prevent the safety net, but, according to the conclusion of the Commission that investigated the accident, it was defective.

The Kenyan artist was miraculously saved, he was diagnosed with a concussion and a comminuted fracture of the first vertebra, Moscow doctors performed the necessary operations and released the patient. After a long rehabilitation, Kazungu finished his circus career.
2. Gymnast Ksenia Elkina
Two years later, another gymnast, Ksenia Elkina, crashed in the same arena. The artist performed a difficult dance in a duet at a height of 9 meters, there was no safety net for this number. The fall was due to the fact that Ksenia did not tighten the safety loop to the end, performing one of the elements of the program, and fell down.

The number was being prepared for the world festival, and the artists showed it to the audience only for the second time. Probably, Ksenia was nervous and confused the order of actions. Such an oversight almost cost her her life.

The fall was unsuccessful: the artist landed on the barrier, and it seemed that she had no chance to escape. Fortunately, the doctors managed to save the girl’s life.

3. Gymnasts Yulia and Alexander Volkov
Injuries during rehearsals happen to almost every artist, so you can not relax on the arena for a second. In 2009, the country was shocked by the news that the audience’s favorite gymnasts Yulia and Alexander Volkov fell while performing a number at a height. The number “Aerialists on canvas” was supposed to be the couple’s business card, but during the rehearsal, an accident occurred: the artists fell from a height of 6 and 8 meters and fell into the arena, where artificial ice was poured at that moment. As a result, both were severely injured. Alexander – severe leg injuries, Yulia-multiple fractures, broken face, concussion. The artist was in a coma for four days. The treatment was long, but after rehabilitation, the artists decided that they must return to the profession, and did so.
4. Tiger trainer Artur Bagdasarov
Artur Bagdasarov is one of the most famous trainers in Russia. The decision to devote himself to this dangerous profession came to him in his youth, because all his family are circus performers.

Arthur spends his days with his charges and seems to know their behavior thoroughly. However, a tragedy happened to him: in June 2006, during a regular performance, the artist was attacked by a tiger. The animal’s aggression was caused by the fact that the trainer was too close. The tiger inflicted severe injuries to Artur Bagdasarov, and the animal was dragged away only after the fifth shot in the air, which was made by Mikhail Bagdasarov, the trainer’s father. Doctors managed to save Arthur, he was put more than a hundred stitches. Some time after the tragedy, the trainer overcame his feelings and managed to return to training with the tigers. Now he is actively performing, despite the horror experienced.
5. Trainer of lions Alexander Shatirov
Another trainer who suffered from a predator attack is Alexander Shatirov. The artist dedicated his life to lions and preferred to work without giving animals sedatives. Once again, during the performance of a number in the circus of Ufa, the artist was simultaneously attacked by two lions. Attempts to drive away the animals were in vain, only after using a cold water hose, the lions were able to pull away from their victims.

The audience did not immediately understand what was happening on the stage, but many were shocked at the sight of the bloodied artist. Fortunately, the major blood vessels were not affected and the tendons remained intact, the artist returned to the arena quickly enough. He continues to perform and train large predators.
6. The trainer of the elephants, Alexander Terekhov
According to statistics, at least one trainer dies every year. In 2001, there was a tragic death of Alexander Terekhov, the artist worked with elephants in the”Corner of Durov”. During the performance of a number with two elephants, the artist fell off the pedestal or was thrown by one of the wards, and then several times stepped on the trainer. The man could not be saved.
7. Trainer Snezhana Dautova
Death ended the career of another trainer — Snezana Dautova. The artist worked in a circus in Odessa, and during one of the rehearsals, a tiger attacked her and bit her carotid artery with its fangs. They could not save the trainer, because the death was instantaneous. The raging tiger was shot.
8. Gymnast Sarah Guillard-Guillot
Tragedies happen in all circuses of the world. Even in the legendary Cirque du Soleil, where safety is monitored with special care, there was an incident when an acrobat, working at a height of 15 meters, fell, slipping out of insurance. Artist Sarah Guillard-Guillot died from her injuries.
9. Rider Anastasia Maximova
Anastasia Maximova could not imagine her life without horses. Since childhood, she has mastered horse riding and honed her skills by performing various tricks and risky numbers.

During the performance of the circus act, Anastasia fell out of the saddle, catching her foot in the stirrup, and the horse, becoming nervous, carried her around the arena. It took some time to stop the animal, and the girl suffered severe head injuries from hooves and blows to the ground. The artist could not be saved, and she died in an ambulance.
Investigating the causes of the incident, experts unanimously recognized that Anastasia made a mistake-firmly fixed her foot in the stirrup. It was a little easier to perform the numbers, but at the moment of falling, she could not free herself and jump off the horse.
10. Butterscotch The Clown
Tragically, the fate of another circus performer — Irina Asmus, a legendary clowness who performed under the pseudonym Toffee. The life and death of toffee under the dome of the circus was a real shock for millions of Soviet viewers who simply adored Her.


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