Council investigating after circus incident


An incident at a circus in Carrickfergus over the weekend is being investigated by the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

Fire fighters attended the scene at around 3.45pm on Saturday after receiving a report that someone claimed to have smelled smoke in the big top.

The venue had to be evacuated and dozens of people examined by paramedics.

In a statement, a council spokesperson said: “An officer from the council was contacted by the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) and visited the circus that afternoon.

“In addition officers visited the circus prior to the Sunday afternoon show to ensure the safety of that event.

“The Council has a regulatory role in terms of the licensing of entertainment from certain premises (including circuses) and enforcing health and safety provision at circuses.

“Officers from the Council are continuing to work with the circus owner in order to investigate the exact nature of the incident on Saturday and to identify whether or not there were any breaches in legislation.”

A spokesperson for NI Fire and Rescue Service - which dispatched two crews to the scene at the top road - told the Times there was no fire, but a generator that had been inside the marquee had been switched off by the time emergency services arrived.

“A number of people complained of feeling sick and were referred to paramedics at the scene,” he added.

Ambulance Service spokesman John McPoland said up to 40 people were being checked after suffering choking, but no one appeared to be seriously ill.

He said firefighters called for paramedics at around 4pm.

“We responded with three rapid response paramedics, one of our heart team, two A&E crews and a patient care vehicle,” he added.

“The first paramedic on the scene gave us a situation report that nobody seemed too seriously ill as a result of the incident and he just wanted further personnel there to help him check everybody out,” Mr McPoland explained.

The Carrick Times heard from a Whitehead man who revealed: “I have a pregnant friend who was there and had to be checked out by paramedics.”