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Old 08-14-2006, 01:59 PM   #1
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Chinese Acrobat Dies

An acrobat at Six Flags Elitch Gardens died Saturday morning after he fell 30 feet while doing a stunt on a stack of chairs at a park performance the night before.

The 19-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was injured during an Amazing Acrobats of China show, said park spokeswoman Brooke Brasher.

According to Denver police, who are investigating the incident, the man fell and hit his head during the act, in which he climbs to the top of a tall stack of chairs and performs acrobatics.

The victim was taken to Denver Health Medical Center, where he died early Saturday. He was from China, according to the Denver County coroner's office.

"Our deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends," Brasher said.

The Amazing Acrobats show features athletes staging feats like diving through hoops and balancing on one another. It was about 15 minutes into the show when the man began his act.

He had made it up near the ceiling of the theater and was going into a handstand when one of the chairs slipped, witnesses said.

"It went down, and then he went down with it," said Pam McClelland, who was in the audience with her family.

McClelland, who had just graduated from nursing school, rushed forward to help but was sent back. The victim was unconscious after he fell, but breathing, she said. His teammates had surrounded him as audience members were instructed to leave the building.

"We tried to explain to keep him still ... but there wasn't really anything we could do," she said.

There was an audience of about 100 people, McClelland said, and she estimated about half of them were children.
The man performed his act off the stage, out in the middle of the audience, said Mike Lococo, who attended the show with his wife and three children, ages 6, 12 and 16. There were audience members sitting about 5 feet away from him when he fell.

"When we left, there were people crying and hugging each other on the way out," Lococo said. "That's the kind of thing you'd hope to never see and hope kids would never see."

The show was new to Elitch's, said David Thomas, manager of Silvertree Productions, which represents the group. Thomas told 9News that it had only been running at the park since Memorial Day, performing three times daily, and four times on weekends during the summer.

In his six years working with the team, he'd never had a fatality or serious injury before, Thomas said.

All Amazing Acrobat shows have been postponed until further notice, Brasher said. The park has made counselors available for employees, she said.


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Old 08-14-2006, 02:05 PM   #2
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Wow that sucks.The Kids will be tramatized by this.

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Old 08-14-2006, 02:06 PM   #3
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How horrible!
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