Chinese Acrobat Falls To Her Death During Mid-Air Performance With Husband

(CNN) – A Chinese acrobat fell to her death on Saturday during a mid-air routine with her husband in a village in China.

The woman, who has only been identified by her surname, Sun, was reportedly taken to the hospital after the fall but died of her injuries.

Online footage of the incident showed the couple being pulled high into the air by a crane above a large outdoor stage, with the woman holding on to her husband whose arms were wrapped around two pieces of fabric hanging from the crane.

As they swung in mid-air, the woman wrapped her arms around her husband’s head and hung off him during a transition act. But she lost her grip and plunged to the hard stage amid screams from the crowd. Her husband attempted to catch her with his legs but failed, the footage showed.

Videos of the horrific moment shocked Chinese social media with many users questioning why the woman did not wear a safety belt, and why there was no safety net or crash mat on the ground. Others called for stricter regulations on the acrobatic industry and better protection for performers.

“This kind of mid-air acrobatic performance is really dangerous. At least put a safety net underneath so the (performer) can be protected from falling,” said a comment on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform. “No matter how skilled the performers are, there will always be mistakes. How come there are no safety measures?”

This screengrab shows the two acrobats being lifted into position during an aerial silks performance in China’s central Anhui province moments before the fatal fall. (Photo: CNN)

The Tongqiao government in another statement released Tuesday, said an investigation by authorities had ruled the tragedy as an accident.

The show was hosted by a local farm business owner, who contracted the Anhui Yaxi Performing Arts Media Company to run the performance, the statement said.

The company failed to obtain approval from authorities prior to the show, and failed to provide essential safety protection and emergency measures during the performance, the investigation found. The use of a crane in the performance was also a violation of regulations, it added.

The company has reached an agreement on compensation with the family of the acrobat, and will be punished according to regulations, the statement said.

The Paper, a state-run news website, reported that during the show, a host had boasted to the audience that in order to make the performance look “real,” the performers were not equipped with any safety measures.

The report added that the female acrobat had been married to her husband for more than a decade and left behind two children.