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Actor In Christmas Pageant Dies After 25 Foot Fall

Discussion in 'News' started by Eboy87, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    I saw this story while perusing the news this morning, after reading the threads about flying people. An actor who was being flown died after she fell. No word on whether it was a jerry-rigged or professional. I'm assuming the later.

    Here's the story.
     
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Slightly more detailed story from a Cincinnati TV station: Updated: Woman Injured In Fall During Christmas Show Dies - Local News Story - WLWT Cincinnati, and the obligatory statement from the venue: Awaited Statement :: About Crossroads.

    edit: More sketchy details: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20081218/NEWS01/312170096/1055/NEWS.

    edit: It just keeps getting worse. From http://www.local12.com/content/brea...r-Dies-After-Fall/q7y2EcSYhEOfbrXReykeYg.cspx.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  3. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I am saying many expletives to myself, and would put them here if I could, but this is just stupid. This should not have happened. If people knew what they were doing, even common fall protection procedures would have stopped this. This was not an accident in my opinion. This was negligence and should be prosecuted as such, even manslaughter could be and should be considered. There was no reason for this person to die. Its one thing when a rigger falls because they were to stupid to clip in, its another thing all together when you trust your life in the hands of others and they fail you.

    I know this same thing happens in churches in this area.
     
  4. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Why one should always use properly rated harnesses:

     
  5. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    This is why Churches should leave the Theatrics to Theatres!
    I'm with Footer. This was not an accident and more than the moron with a blank gun putting it against his head and pulling the trigger this was someone elses negligennce. Hell I'd love to see what they were rigged too. Think they just tied onto lighting points ?
     
  6. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Looks to be just a petzl style sit harness and from what I can tell a single point holding her up. The sad thing is that myself, and probably a number of people on here, have a 5 point harness in their car or within reach. It is obvious that whoever did this has not clue as to what they are doing. I have a feeling it was someone with rock climbing experience and rigged it as such. Anyone even remotely theatre related would never put someone in a rock climbing harness.

    Basicly... what this comes down to....

    [Delete expletive] idiots.


    Oh... and this is from the Crossroads Church website....


    http://mfile.akamai.com/12885/wmv/vod.ibsys.com/2008/1218/18312882.200k.asx


    Anyone else for a road trip?? I am off work tomorrow until the 5th.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2008
  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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  8. renegadeblack

    renegadeblack Active Member

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    Anyone remotely theatre related would have hired professionals to come and install the rig.

    It's quite sad, a life could have been saved with a phone call.
     
  9. What Rigger?

    What Rigger? I'm so fly....I Neverland.

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    Before we jump to any conclusions (myself included):

    IF the point she was on failed, that's one thing. As we've all said before, rigging should be done only by those qualified (and that's real easy for us to say at this point).

    On the other hand: IF she was on a Spanish Web, you've opened a whole 'nuther can of worms.IF she was harnessed, she couldn't have been on a Web. Acrobatics, such as Spanish Web, silk/tissue acts, etc...seem to function in a slightly parallel universe. Fall protection is not used, generally, because the fall protection is more of a hazard than NOT using fall protection in these situations. Fall protection is, generally, not designed for this use and as such cannot function properly. Believe it or not (and I'm sort of loathe to mention this here), there are written, completely legal times to not use fall protection. But no way in h3ll am I gonna tell anyone here where/when that is. And it doesn't generally make it a good idea either. That's why you need to be trained in these things by legit sources.
    In acrobatics, people fall. It's a fact of life, and a known risk going into it. Ask that performer at Zumanity who came down hard a few months ago. Ask the Wallendas who lost one of theirs in a tight rope walk.

    {from www.wallendas.com}It was during a promotional walk in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in March, 1978, that the patriarch of the Great Wallendas fell to his death at age 73. Not because of his age or capabilities, not because of the wind, but because of several misconnected guy ropes along the wire. Karl once said, "Life is being on the wire, everything else is just waiting." The Wallenda legacy lives on to the sixth and seventh generations through Karl's grandchildren and great-grandchildren

    Until anything official comes out, we have to reserve judgement or jumping to conclusions. I'd be willing to bet a week's pay that it's not so cut and dry. But I've been wrong before.
     
  10. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    When i heard the news tonight my stomach cringed. I just got done wrapping up a show that had teh cirque desole style in which we had aerialests flying around. The big thing with our show was that it was done by professionals, professional aerialests, and professional riggers who specialize in these types of high risk stunts. I had to completely move around my lighting positions due to the possibilities of something happen. If there was a possibility of something happening such as rope getting wraped around an instrument or truss, we would move it.

    Always remember gear can be replaced, people cannot. I heard on the news i was reading it was a failure in the connection between the rope and the D ring on her harness which first thing that came to my mind was that it was not a propper caribeaner nor was it a locking one which is a must when flying. The company that we used used locking ones in which you had to depress a button before spinning the sleave to then be able to unclip it.

    For anyone looking we used Aerial Experience Productions

    They are a very nice bunch of people with lots of professional experience.
     
  11. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    What sickens me is that it is being ruled an accident. In my opinion, it is gross negligence. The police are just letting it go, even when they inspected the harness and it stated right on there that it is to be used only for rock climbing and repelling, any other use could result in serious injury or death. They said that could be instrumental in a civil trial, but they are just going to rule it an accident! I hope that these people responsible have to live with something more than their concience. They not only affected the life of that performer, but her family and their entire community. Just think, the other two performers could have suffered a similar fate and she could have landed on the audience. Then would there have been charges?

    I do believe that they should have to make ammends. I certainly hope that every single trade mag (especially those targeted to HOW and amateur theater) will plaster this all over their front covers and we can stop amateur flying. This is senseless and should never happen again.

    Stepping off my soapbox.
     
  12. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    My reaction to this story brought me back to my backstage tour at Cirque: Ka. At Ka you have very serious pro performers who do dangerous stunts two times a night (plus rehearsals) with the best gear and the best crew. When at all possible, below them there is a safety net. Some of the falls are so high they put a big stunt airbag on top of the net because the net alone would still be dangerous. On the other hand in this situation, you have someone who aparently hasn't done anything gymnastic in years, using aparently inappropriate gear, and no safety net. It's as if someone saw Cirque and said, "that's cool and it looks easy." Then copied what they thought they saw without any of the hidden details, expert knowledge, and experience, that minimize the risk.

    It's a lot like those stories you hear about a kid's doing dumb things because they saw it on a show like "Bevis and Butthead" or "Jackass" and thought it would be cool to try at home.

    So sad. So senseless. And you are right, whomever gave the "extensive training" should be held criminally accountable for their neglegence.
     
  13. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Where are the artcles about the failed D ring and the extensive training?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  14. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    The third news story link in Dereks thread mentions the "extensive training" and the Failed safety letch on the harness. It also mentions the fact that the harness was for 'rappelling only"
     
  15. Darthrob13

    Darthrob13 Active Member

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    I heard this the other day as well. We all know that there are dozens of "angels" being flown right now, in Christmas pagents.

    I can only hope that people will read this and realize that maybe Suzy the 5 year old angel, while cute...shouldn't be flown on the block and fall from Andy's barn.
     
  16. venuetech

    venuetech Well-Known Member

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    above the audience ??

    were they "fortunate" (for lack of a better word) that she landed in an aisle and not on members of the congregation?

    this does point to negligence. who in their right mind would expose the audience to that kind of hazard.

    what they dont say is how many years this production has happened.
    these things are built and added to each year. was this a new element in the production. or had it been done (this way) for many years?
     
  17. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    One of the articles does mention that this was a new element to the "production". This was the first year with "acrobats".

    I'm glad you noticed the thing about falling into the aisle as well. Yes they are ****ed lucky she didn't land across 3-4 people sitting in pews. moving at 32 feet per second she'd have done some damage.
     
  18. theatretechguy

    theatretechguy Member

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    I'm sure if that happened the church would be quick to say it "was probably God's will anyway". I'm sickened by these mega churches and their ultimate goal of making more money while completely disregarding the safety and financial well-being of their parish or staff. But that's topic for another discussion ...
     
  19. msr5752

    msr5752 Member

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    We had a community theater group come in and put on Wizard of Oz and they wanted to hang a (swing set type) chair on a baton to "fly" Glenda for her entrance. Needless to say we said NO!!!! & they changed the blocking and rolled her in on a grand stair case.

    I'm just astounded on what people think is ok and safe in there minds.


    I've trained in ariel arts and have rope & tissue. I hang them off my grid & work out when we are dark. My crew was blown away when they found out that I could do that. There is no way that I could do the great tricks being tied to a safety line. I maybe crazy (well don't we all have to be a little bit) but when safety is even approached I have ZERO tolerance for doing it correctly.
     
  20. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Maybe through C.B.'s high placement in Google Search this tragic discussion will make someone else think twice and prevent a similar tragic event from happening.
     
    avkid and (deleted member) like this.

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