‘Spider-Man’ Actor’s Fall Blamed On Human Error
NEW YORK (CBS 2/WCBS 880/1010 WINS/AP) – The producers of the troubled “Spider-Man” musical on Broadway said they have enacted new safety measures ordered by the government and will resume performances on Wednesday night.
A spokesman for “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark,” Rick Miramontez, said producers met with federal and state labor officials and the Actors’ Equity Association on Tuesday about additional safety measures after performer Christopher Tierney fell about 30 feet doing an aerial stunt.
Tierney is the show’s main aerialist and performs stunts for the roles of Spider-Man, and the villains Meeks and Kraven.
In a statement, Actors’ Equity said investigators determined that the accident was caused by human error, but gave no details.
The production had also been under investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration for several weeks, according to the agency.
Miramontez said OSHA, Actors’ Equity and New York State labor officials met with the “Spider-Man” company on Tuesday.
Producers postponed the musical’s scheduled Wednesday matinee, but the web-slinger will take the stage again on Wednesday night.
Charlie Bernard from Midtown was at Monday night’s show.
“He falls into the pit and you hear a bang. Then the audience gets very quiet and you hear some crying from the actress who plays Mary Jane, screaming, crying,” he said. “It’s Spider-Man so there’s jumping and climbing and falling but once you saw the harness fall behind and you heard the crying, you knew that something was wrong.”
LINK: Video of the Incident (via NYT)
The screams from the actress playing Spider-Man’s girlfriend seemed all too real to some in the audience.
“Blood curdling would describe it well,” Jim Crawley of Houston told CBS 2′s Tony Aiello.
Firefighters were called to the Foxwoods Theatre at about 10:45 p.m. Monday after the 31-year-old performer fell near the end of the latest preview performance. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital with minor injuries, police said.
Christine Bord of Clinton, N.Y., was sitting behind a perch on the balcony. The actors who fly over the audience stop on that small ramp.
“In the scene, of course, Spider-Man was supposed to come down and we’re assuming save Mary Jane at the end of the scene but instead he came flying down and he just slid right off the bottom of that ramp into the pit below and came tumbling down into the stage,” she said.
“He was being held up by a wire and you could see at the end of the wire there was maybe a weight or something that kind of came following after him,” Bord said. “And then after they both came down, it was just silent and you started to hear people screaming in the pit.”
New York City officials said Tuesday there is no separate city investigation of the production.
“Hopefully, they’ll get all the bugs out,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday. “I’m told it’s phenomenally complex, which is one of the reasons that it’s going to be such a great show. We do have certain laws to make things safe, and we will certainly enforce the laws.”