Trapeze Artist Leaves Hospital After Surviving ‘Horrifying' 30-Foot Fall at Philly Circus

A trapeze artist who plunged three stories into the audience at a Philadelphia circus performance over the weekend left the hospital Monday and is expected to make a full recovery.

The performer, Chenglong Wu, 19, was performing at 4 p.m. Saturday for the UniverSoul Circus near the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in West Philadelphia's Parkside section when his high-flying stunt went awry.

Wu's act includes midair flips and jumps, video posted to the circus' website shows.

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Witnesses posting to social media Saturday said Wu fell 30 feet into a safety net after a partner failed to catch him during a stunt. Wu then bounced out of the net and into the first row of the crowd.

Rosie Amor and her young daughter were sitting in the section next to where Wu landed. She said it appeared Wu tried to hold onto the net, but the force of the fall pulled him out.

"The sound of him falling to the ground made my stomach hurt," she said. "It was horrifying. All the children were watching."

Wu suffered a lower back injury and was taken by ambulance to nearby Penn Presbyterian Trauma Center.

There were no injuries in the audience.

Several people got up and left the show, according to Amor. The show resumed about 10 minutes after Wu was taken out.

"I felt like at that point they should have canceled the show," she said. "It's like they scraped him up from the ground and kept going with the show."

A spokesperson for UniverSoul Circus announced Monday that Wu was released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

"UniverSoul Circus would like to thank the first responders and circus staff who took charge of the situation and saw to it that Chenglong was treated as expeditiously as possible," the spokesperson wrote. "UniverSoul Circus also thanks the doctors, nurses and staff at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center for all of their hard work. UniverSoul Circus greatly appreciates our fans for their kind thoughts and prayers that have been pouring in on behalf of Chenglong."

The spokesperson also released a picture of Wu smiling and holding up the peace sign.

The circus, which features animal acts, acrobatics and pyrotechnic stunts, had three performances scheduled for Saturday. The accident happened during the second show. It is scheduled to be in Philadelphia through Nov. 15. Police and the circus continue to investigate the incident.

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