"It seems as though a carabiner failed and appears to have caused the platform to fail and the performers to fall down," Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare. Officials are still looking at why the carabiner failed, he said.
A circus representative confirmed that the carabiner in question had broken, but said it was too early to identify any one specific "cause" of the accident. None of the performers involced in the accident have died; two are in critical condition.
What Happened at Slate This Week? Josh Keating read about making music in the Anthropocene and journeyed into the heart of coding darkness.