Injured Circus Performer Describes Horrific Fall

Samantha Pitard was performing a "human chandelier" act with seven other acrobats when they fell.
3:00 | 05/07/14

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Transcript for Injured Circus Performer Describes Horrific Fall
Tonight we are hearing from a circus performer for the first time since she and eight others were injured after crashing down in a horrific accident caught on tape during a live show. How did it happen? What was she thinking as she hit the ground? Would she consider performing again? Here is ABC's Linzie Janis. Reporter: One of the circus worlds most daring and painful acts. So dangerous the ancient stunt is seldom even taught. Painful because the acrobats hang and even hang others from their hair. I never thought I would do hair hanging because it is so specialized. Reporter: To day is an ABC news exclusive, 23-year-old Samantha pitard one of the performers of the stunt that proved death defying. Told her story for the first time. We all know we are risking our lives every time we go up. Reporter: If it is possible for a spectacular act known as the human chandelier to begin unremarkably, she says it did that day. We take our black robes off. We warm up a little bit more. We get hooked up. Reporter: Hooked in circus-speak means being rigged to a metal apparatus that is attached by a single clip to a larger ceiling-like structure. We all knew it well. We all loved doing it. Beautiful act. Reporter: Samantha who began going to circus camp as a teen was one of the girls in outer circle during Sunday's ill-fated performance. But she says she often performed the role of base, just like this woman hanging upside down in the middle of the chandelier, straddling two fabric stilts. If that wasn't enough. There is one point in the act where I hold two girls at one time. By my hair. I am upside down. I have two girls hanging underneath me. All by my hair. Reporter: A head of human hair so strong it can support tons. This promotional video of a rival circus act shows how the women keep their hair wet, tying knots and braids around the steel rings that will suspend them three stories above the crowd. But that day the stunt that came off without a hitch since the show opened in January went wildly wrong. Heard a really loud pop. And then weep just plummeted to the ground. We just hit the ground really fast. I was still conscious. Breathe, really hard I was really hard to catch my breath. Because of the impact and the shock. We ask that -- Once I caught my breath I was really concerned about all the girls, of course. Reporter: The lights are lowered. In performance tdarkness the performers try to orient themselves. I was looking at all the girls. Trying to. They are like you need to lay down. Its everybody alive? Is everybody okay. Reporter: Miraculously all eight performers and another circus artist under the structure when it collapsed survived the 30-foot drop. The accident is raising question as but safety. The circus industry really doesn't have any regulation. History awaits -- nick walenda and the wire and niagara are yours. Reporter: Walenda best known for walking across niagara falls on a tightrope. Now says some circus accidents scud could be prevented if the engineers had stricter standards. 90% plus of the accidents in our industry that are, that cause death or serious injury are rigging related. Reporter: In this case, suspicion has fallen upon the suspension of the chandelier structure. Osha is investigating. And the company that owns and operates the circus, has promised a thoroughreview. We don't know exactly what happened. But we are going to get to the bottom of it. Just make sure going forward, the performers safety is taken care of. If you watch the video. Soon as the girls lift the legs up. A change in momentum. Changes the load. They weigh 1,500. If they bounce or move. That magnifies and multiplies that load. That's where stuff can fail. Samantha's injuries were less severe than the seven others still hospitalized. Two with critical spinal cord injuries. I love these girls so much the we are family. We are going to get through this together. Reporter: Doctors who have performed a total of 17 operations on the eight women marveling at how tough they are. There was one story where one of the injured performers, was in some pain. But didn't want to take the pain medicine. They didn't want to get out of sink with their stretching routine. Already thinking about their recovery. Reporter: Even from her sick bed, Samantha expressed nothing but faith in the management of her show and nothing but determination to fly again under the big top. I can't wait to get back in the air and perform again. Samantha was released from the Rhode Island hospital but is returning to visit other injured performers still being treated.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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