7 injured when startled camel bolts through circus crowd

Seven people, most of them children, were injured when a startled camel started bucking during a circus performance in Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that two children and an adult were riding the camel during an intermission Sunday at the Shrine Circus at PPG Paints Arena when it became startled.

Video shows someone holding on to the animal as it bolts through a crowd of people.

The newspaper says one child's arm was broken, which appeared to be the most serious injury. The child was taken to a hospital along with five other children and one adult.

The incident happened around 3:30 p.m. as people were buying rides on tethered camels, ponies or elephants led by handlers. Public safety and circus officials did not immediately know what startled the camel.

But circus attendee, Ruthie Kester, told KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh that a child threw a shovel used to clean up after the animals at the camel's feet.

"They were giving camel rides and camels were walking around calmly. And then a kid threw a shovel at the camel's feet, which startled the camel and it started to buck," Kester said.

Jenny Lynch, who said she didn't see what caused the camel's reaction, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that a woman and two small girls were riding the animal before it was startled and reacted "like a bucking bronco."

It was brought under control and the circus resumed.

The animal was not injured, officials said.

The circus was on its third and final day.


Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, http://www.post-gazette.com