A circus performance Sunday in Providence, Rhode Island went terribly wrong when eight female aerial performers were injured when a rig from which they were suspended from broke free, sending them falling to the ground.

The accident occurred around noon during a Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus performance at the Dunkin' Donuts Center as the acrobats were performing a hair-hanging, human chandelier act.

In an afternoon press conference Sunday, police said that nine of the performers were listed in critical condition at Rhode Island Hospital, but none had life threatening injuries. Eight of those injured were hanging from a metal rig and fell about 25-to-40-feet, falling on top of a dancer who was performing on the ground. Following the accident, the lights were turned down as rescuers rushed to help the injured performers.