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Acrobat survives after plunging through safety net

The acrobat falls during the stunt at a circus in Moscow. Photo: YouTube

A Kenyan acrobat suffered severe injuries after crashing through a safety net and plunging 85 feet to the ground during a performance at a Moscow circus.

Karo Christopher Kazungu was supposed to bounce back up from the net in the downward dive. But an amateur video broadcast on Russian television, showed the 22-year-old diving from 85 feet before breaking through the safety net and landing on the arena floor in front of a horrified crowd on Wednesday evening.

Following the fall, the acrobat can be seen in the footage lying motionless on the ground as circus workers run to his aide. He was rushed to hospital with severe injuries, including a fractured vertebra. Local reports say the acrobat was conscious when he was taken to hospital. He remains in intensive care.

Karo Christopher Kazungu lies motionless on the ground following the floor. Credit: YouTube

Kazungu was one of a dozen Russian and Kenyan performers who were taking part in a highly complex acrobatics show.

Edgard Zapashny, director general of the Great Moscow State Circus, told Russian television that the safety net had been stringently tested before it was used. Despite speculation from circus employees that someone may have tampered with the net, Mr Zapashny insisted there were no signs of sabotage after first inspection.

The director said the incident was the first of its kind at the circus.