A tragic video emerging from a Chinese acrobat show captures a female performer – a wife and mother of two – plunging to her death from 30 feet above the ground after she lost her grip on her mid-air partner. The partner was also her husband.
Sun Moumou and her husband Zhang Moumou, both 37, were participating in a show in the Chinese province of Anhui, with him attached to a cable but her allegedly refusing to wear commensurate protective measures. The couple has been reported to often forgo additional ropes, both for the spectator thrill as well as increased earnings for their more daring performances.
A short video making the rounds on the internet reveals the couple being initially hoisted into the air, with Sun standing on Zhang’s feet and then grabbing his neck with her hands as her feet begin to dangle. It is unclear if this was part of the planned routine or if something went wrong from the beginning.
Seconds later, Sun can be seen grasping for a better grip before plunging to her death below in an instance of shock and horror. Sun was rushed to a hospital but pronounced dead upon arrival.
While the results are known, the video does cut out before showing Sun making impact with the ground. Other outlets have reported additional videos to reveal an audible thud when her descent is forcefully stopped.
A lot of discussions on Chinese socials today about the fatal accident that happened last night in Suzhou during a live acrobatic show. The female performer did not wear safety lines and she fell. She was rushed to hospital but passed away. (video end cut due to shocking content) pic.twitter.com/l5DCf0ilN1
— Manya Koetse (@manyapan) April 16, 2023
Additional reports out of China suggest the couple had been fighting pre-show, with the husband apparently wanting his wife to wear a safety harness. Zhang has since denied any fight occurred, leading some to wonder if the fight in question was not simply related to the routine.
The New York Post wrote that an investigation has already begun and that there is a history of performances like this from the duo. The New York Post said:
Authorities have vowed to conduct an in-depth investigation into the tragedy, which led to the cancellation of other performances, Global Times reported.
The Chinese outlet said the company that runs the show was fined about $7,000 for “holding commercial performances without approval” in 2021.
The wife and husband were reportedly experienced performers but often ditched safety lines “for the sake of looking good,” according to The Paper.
The weekend tragedy sparked widespread criticism online, with many people questioning why no adequate safety measures were in place, including a safety net and a soft pad on the ground.
“Local officials expressed deep condolence to the deceased and sympathy to her family, vowing a further investigation into the incident and to deal with the case according to laws and regulations based on the facts and identification of responsibilities,” the Global Times additionally reported.
This story breaks the heart for so many reasons, not least of which a young woman lost her life and she leaves behind two children. The husband’s guilt, if he is a decent person, would no doubt linger forever as well, as he will forever wonder what went wrong and how he could potentially have saved his wife.
Spectators in the stands will also be impacted by this, forever remembering both the visual and auditory sequences that played out.
If nothing else, this latest tragedy reminds us all that life is all too short, and can be taken away in the blink of an eye.
Featured image: Screen shot from embedded Twitter video.
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