Acrobat's mistake led to horror fall

AN ACROBAT'S technical error led to the horror fall at Blackpool Tower Circus which killed him, an inquest was told.

Ravshan Alimov died after falling more than 15ft to the ground when he somersaulted into the air during a daring springboard stunt.

The 24-year-old, who was performing in the matinee showing of Aladdin, landed on his head in front of more than 400 shocked adults and children.

As the young Russian was rushed to Blackpool Victoria Hospital by ambulance, his fellow performers carried on with the show.

Mr Alimov was later transferred to the special head injuries unit at the Royal Preston Hospital where he died.

Following the tragedy, Blackpool Council's public safety department interviewed eye-witnesses and the troop leader.

A reconstruction of the incident was also carried out.

Christopher Beverley, deputy coroner, said: "The troupe had been carrying out this manoeuvre for three years. He was supposed to somersault into a chair but he didn't make it.

"The conclusion was that Mr Alimov made a technical error in performing the stunt.

"It's a salient reminder that those who undertake this kind of professional gymnastics do so at considerable risk to life and limb.

"It's part of that excitement and tension of people going to circuses.

"But tragically in this case, Mr Alimov died."

"It should be noted that Blackpool Tower Circus, which is a leading attraction in winter and summer, has an exemplary high record of safety."

The tragic fall, which happened on December 21, 2008, left the performer unconscious and suffering a severe head injury.

He underwent surgery but failed to respond and died in hospital two days later.

At an inquest yesterday, it was confirmed Mr Alimov died as a result of a head injury.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded.

Blackpool Tower Circus director Laci Endresz senior secured the Russian act after attending a circus convention.

The Pouzanov troupe, who had won the Circus Friend's Best Ground Act award, were said to be left devastated by the incident.