A FAMILY were taken to hospital with head injuries after a circus tent ‘collapsed’ on the waiting audience.
An investigation is underway following the ‘frightening’ experience at Happy’s Circus on Sunday afternoon.
Emergency services were called to the family circus at Burley Park in the New Forest after reports of the big top collapsing with around 30 people inside after strong winds.
The grandfather of the family who were injured said his son, daughter-in-law and two young grandchildren, who are on holiday in the area, remained “shaken” by the experience.
“Just as they were walking in the whole lot came down”, he said.
“My daughter-in-law was in front with my grandson in the pushchair and my son and granddaughter were behind.
“My son managed to get his daughter out first and then went back for his wife and son. He told me parents were screaming and he went back in and got more children out.
“His wife is still very distressed by the whole thing. She had one of the bars from the roof hit her on the head. She had to have a chest x-ray and has bruising to her ribs.
“My son had bleeding on his head from a cut and my grandson’s pushchair was toppled over. It’s completely ruined their holiday.”
A spokesperson for Happy’s Circus said Sunday’s incident was due to “exceptional circumstances. We are discussing the matter with the manufactures of the tent and arranging for test to be carried out”, they added.
Burley ward councillor, John Penwarden, pictured, said he would be looking into the incident with the council.
“My best wishes are of course with those who were hurt. I hope they are recovering well”, he added.
South Central Ambulance said they were called at 1.47pm to reports of a ‘tent collapse’ at Burley Park.
Three adults were taken to Southampton General Hospital by ambulance with ‘minor concussion-type injuries’.
It is understood the tent is being repaired and the circus is to continue with performances while an investigation into the tent’s strapping takes place.
They are due to return on Friday to continue their run.
Information on Happy’s Circus’ website says “all-weather” big top, which is 96ft by 56ft, seats up to 600 people.
New Forest District Council is investigating the incident to “try and establish the cause”.
It added: “Any action will depend on the outcome of the investigation.”