Act gone wrong in China as stunt rider in ‘globe of death’ turns into ball of flames
A normally fiery motorcycle show in China went out in a blaze, but not one of glory, leaving one of the performers injured.
On Tuesday, two stunt riders were performing their “globe of death” routine in the Happy Valley theme park in Wujinshan Forest Park in Shanxi, China.
The “globe of death” is a popular circus and carnival stunt involving motorcyclists looping horizontally or vertically within a spherical steel cage at breakneck speed.
In videos that were widely circulated on the Internet, both riders are seen circling the globe in choreographed unison, riding past each other at speed, with their bikes emanating sparks constantly.
But after completing a number of revolutions, one of the riders appears to lose his grip on the cage’s walls and falls to the bottom of the globe. His bike then bursts into flames, while his stunt partner continues looping around the globe, possibly to avoid the flames.
According to local media Sohu News, members of the audience were shocked, with some calling for help for the riders. Some staff members tried putting out the flames with a fire extinguisher, while others attempted to open the gate to the globe.
On Wednesday, Jinzhong city’s culture and tourism bureau said a theme park performer suffered injuries to his leg and arm as a result of the incident, adding that he was taken to hospital without elaborating on the extent of the injuries.
Investigations are ongoing to find out the cause of the accident.
A theme park-goer who was at Happy Valley on Tuesday said the motorcycle performance had started at around 4pm, and many had received complimentary entry tickets from the park as part of a promotional drive.
“At first I thought (the fire) was a special effect, but I realised it was a real fire when the venue was filled with the smell of smoke,” the unnamed visitor told Jimu News, adding that the accident happened about two minutes into the act.
The globe of death performance at Happy Valley had resumed on Wednesday.