Family taken to hospital as circus tent falls on top of their heads in New Forest

Family is injured as circus tent collapes

Family is injured as circus tent collapes

First published in News
Last updated

A TERRIFIED family had to be taken to hospital after the big top of a Hampshire circus collapsed on top of them.

The young family-of-four were getting to their seats ready for the start of the afternoon performance of Happy’s Circus in Burley when bars came falling in from the roof as the tent caved in.

Screams filled the collapsing big top as families panicked trying to escape with their children, dodging falling pieces of the tent.

An investigation has now been launched by New Forest District Council into the cause of the incident but the circus is being allowed to continue with their performances while that is underway.

The drama unfolded just before 2pm, during strong winds, when there were around 30 people inside the 600-seater big top, waiting for the start of the show.

The grandfather of the family who were injured said that his son, daughter-in-law and two young grandchildren, who were on holiday in the county, were just walking in as the tent caved in and have been left shaken by the experience.

Injuries He said: “My daughter-in-law was in front with my grandson in the pushchair and my son and granddaughter were behind.

“My son managed to get his daughter out first and then went back for his wife and son.

“He told me parents were screaming and he went back in and got more children out.

“His wife is still very distressed by the whole thing. She had one of the bars from the roof hit her on the head.

“She had to have a chest X-ray and has bruising to her ribs.

“My son had bleeding on his head from a cut and my grandson’s pushchair was toppled over.

“It’s completely ruined their holiday.”

South Central Ambulance Service sent two ambulances and the Hazardous Area Response Team who treated four people at the scene.

Three adults were taken to Southampton General Hospital with “minor concussion-type injuries”.

A spokesperson for Happy’s Circus said Sunday’s incident was due to “exceptional circumstances”.

They added: “We are discussing the matter with the manufactures of the tent and arranging for test to be carried out.”

It is understood that the tent is being repaired and that they are due to return to Burley tomorrow to continue their run of shows which is due to end on August 25.

The latest incident happened 24-hours after chairman of New Forest District Council Maureen Holden was guest of honour at a performance.

Founded in 1992 and run by the Randelle family, Happy’s Circus features Randelle Clowns, acrobats and aerialists and raises more than £250,000 for schools and other good causes across the UK every year.

Burley ward councillor, John Penwarden, said he would be looking into the incident with the council and sent his best wishes to the those who were hurt.

A council spokesperson added: “Any action will depend on the outcome of the investigation.

“In this case, we are the enforcing authority under the Health and Safety at Work Act.”

Comments (16)

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7:47am Thu 14 Aug 14

MisterGrimsdale says...

Good to know that the New Forest District Council Tent Accident Inspectorate Unit has sprung into immediate action.
Good to know that the New Forest District Council Tent Accident Inspectorate Unit has sprung into immediate action. MisterGrimsdale
  • Score: 17

8:10am Thu 14 Aug 14

now in the north says...

Great show...brought down the house...
Great show...brought down the house... now in the north
  • Score: 10

8:28am Thu 14 Aug 14

Gravamen says...

Ah well, their 5 mins of fame with the big plus of the compensation to look forward to. Next!
Ah well, their 5 mins of fame with the big plus of the compensation to look forward to. Next! Gravamen
  • Score: -2

8:40am Thu 14 Aug 14

Linesman says...

Someone clowning around?
Someone clowning around? Linesman
  • Score: 0

8:52am Thu 14 Aug 14

Brite Spark says...

The whole drama must have been very in tents.
The whole drama must have been very in tents. Brite Spark
  • Score: 10

9:26am Thu 14 Aug 14

saint61 says...

blame the cyclists
blame the cyclists saint61
  • Score: 10

9:45am Thu 14 Aug 14

S!monOn says...

Gravamen wrote:
Ah well, their 5 mins of fame with the big plus of the compensation to look forward to. Next!
Ah, the good ol' compensation claim.
[quote][p][bold]Gravamen[/bold] wrote: Ah well, their 5 mins of fame with the big plus of the compensation to look forward to. Next![/p][/quote]Ah, the good ol' compensation claim. S!monOn
  • Score: 0

10:10am Thu 14 Aug 14

excusemoi says...

The metal bar hit her on the head, but there's bruising to the ribs? Nasty. Hope her head is ok ?
The metal bar hit her on the head, but there's bruising to the ribs? Nasty. Hope her head is ok ? excusemoi
  • Score: 9

10:36am Thu 14 Aug 14

Never knew that says...

A spokesperson for Happy’s Circus said Sunday’s incident was due to “exceptional circumstances”.

Any chance the DE could push a little harder for a definition of “exceptional circumstances”
A spokesperson for Happy’s Circus said Sunday’s incident was due to “exceptional circumstances”. Any chance the DE could push a little harder for a definition of “exceptional circumstances” Never knew that
  • Score: 8

11:50am Thu 14 Aug 14

S!monOn says...

Never knew that wrote:
A spokesperson for Happy’s Circus said Sunday’s incident was due to “exceptional circumstances”.

Any chance the DE could push a little harder for a definition of “exceptional circumstances”
It was windy. Very very windy.
[quote][p][bold]Never knew that[/bold] wrote: A spokesperson for Happy’s Circus said Sunday’s incident was due to “exceptional circumstances”. Any chance the DE could push a little harder for a definition of “exceptional circumstances”[/p][/quote]It was windy. Very very windy. S!monOn
  • Score: 7

12:49pm Thu 14 Aug 14

ToastyTea says...

Circus's should be banned, there is no place for them in this day and age, seeing women with beards and elephants riding little bicycles etc should be kept in that bygone era.
Circus's should be banned, there is no place for them in this day and age, seeing women with beards and elephants riding little bicycles etc should be kept in that bygone era. ToastyTea
  • Score: 0

1:53pm Thu 14 Aug 14

S!monOn says...

ToastyTea wrote:
Circus's should be banned, there is no place for them in this day and age, seeing women with beards and elephants riding little bicycles etc should be kept in that bygone era.
Interest thought - does that apply to old people?
[quote][p][bold]ToastyTea[/bold] wrote: Circus's should be banned, there is no place for them in this day and age, seeing women with beards and elephants riding little bicycles etc should be kept in that bygone era.[/p][/quote]Interest thought - does that apply to old people? S!monOn
  • Score: 0

4:26pm Thu 14 Aug 14

House Sparrow says...

ToastyTea wrote:
Circus's should be banned, there is no place for them in this day and age, seeing women with beards and elephants riding little bicycles etc should be kept in that bygone era.
"This is a traditional all-human Circus that tours the country, focusing on bringing the Circus Arts to audiences, old & new."

Copied from the Happy's Circus website.

The important words are "all-human"!
[quote][p][bold]ToastyTea[/bold] wrote: Circus's should be banned, there is no place for them in this day and age, seeing women with beards and elephants riding little bicycles etc should be kept in that bygone era.[/p][/quote]"This is a traditional all-human Circus that tours the country, focusing on bringing the Circus Arts to audiences, old & new." Copied from the Happy's Circus website. The important words are "all-human"! House Sparrow
  • Score: 4

6:44pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Huffter says...

S!monOn wrote:
ToastyTea wrote:
Circus's should be banned, there is no place for them in this day and age, seeing women with beards and elephants riding little bicycles etc should be kept in that bygone era.
Interest thought - does that apply to old people?
You obviously come from an even more bygone era than I do if you think that's what circuses are!
[quote][p][bold]S!monOn[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ToastyTea[/bold] wrote: Circus's should be banned, there is no place for them in this day and age, seeing women with beards and elephants riding little bicycles etc should be kept in that bygone era.[/p][/quote]Interest thought - does that apply to old people?[/p][/quote]You obviously come from an even more bygone era than I do if you think that's what circuses are! Huffter
  • Score: 2

12:57pm Fri 15 Aug 14

ToastyTea says...

some people can't take a joke
some people can't take a joke ToastyTea
  • Score: -1

3:32pm Fri 15 Aug 14

southy says...

ToastyTea wrote:
some people can't take a joke
People getting hurt is nothing really to joke about is it
[quote][p][bold]ToastyTea[/bold] wrote: some people can't take a joke[/p][/quote]People getting hurt is nothing really to joke about is it southy
  • Score: 2

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