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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 August 2006, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
Circus acrobat killed in Ireland
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An acrobat with a Russian circus company touring Ireland has fallen to his death in an apparent accident during a stunt.

The performer's wife was also hurt, suffering a broken arm.

The accident took place in front of an audience of some 100 people, many of them children, in the town of Scariff in County Clare, western Ireland.

Police are investigating the circumstances leading to the performer's death.

Witnesses quoted by the Associated Press news agency said he had been hanging from a cage suspended from a hot-air balloon.

The balloon reportedly caught fire and the cage fell to the ground, crushing the performer.

A spokesman for the Royal Russian Circus said spectators were removed from the tent after the crash.

"We had to discharge the audience because we knew it was quite serious," the spokesman said.

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