The stunt artist was part of an aerobatic performance group, The Nerveless Nocks, officials said

By Joelle Goldstein
July 22, 2021 04:52 PM
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Barnstable County Fair/Instagram
Barnstable County Fair grounds
| Credit: Barnstable County Fair/Instagram

An acrobat has been hospitalized after falling nearly 20 feet during a performance at a Massachusetts county fair, officials said.

The scary incident unfolded on Wednesday evening at the Barnstable County Fair on the Cape Cod Fairgrounds in East Falmouth, according to a statement from the Falmouth Fire/Rescue Department.

Fire officials said they received a call around 5:45 p.m. reporting that a person had "fallen approximately 20 feet" at the fair. The individual was only identified by authorities as a performer with the family-run, aerobatic performance group, The Nerveless Nocks.

A Fire Rescue standby crew — who were already at the fairgrounds at the time of the incident, according to the fire department — quickly made their way to the scene, where they found the acrobat on the ground, The Cape Cod Times reported.

According to the outlet, the person had fallen from near the top of the Wheel of Death (also known as the Space Wheel or the Wheel of Steel), which is a large rotating structure with rotating hoops on each end.

On their website, the Nerveless Nocks state that their performers typically do "leaps, somersaults, handstands and actually walk the wheel blind-folded" as they revolve on the aerial pendulum.

During Wednesday's performance, the acrobat had fallen while in one of the hoops and ended up hitting the top of the other hoop before dropping approximately 20 feet to the ground, Falmouth Fire Deputy Chief Scott Thrasher told the Times.

First responders "quickly evaluated" the individual and then called an ambulance to the scene, according to the fire department's statement.

"The individual was transported to Falmouth Hospital with multiple injuries as a result of the fall," their statement reads.

Thrasher told the Times that the multi-trauma injuries were potentially serious but non-life-threatening and noted that a majority of them were sustained from hitting the second hoop.

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At this time, it is unclear what caused the acrobat to fall and if safety measures will be put in place to prevent this from happening again.

The Fire Department confirmed in their statement that the Office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration was notified of the incident.

A spokesperson for the Barnstable County Fair and the Nerveless Nocks did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.