One of the assistants to popular magician David Copperfield required rush transport to the hospital after he sustained severe personal injuries during the finale of Copperfield’s MGM Las Vegas show on December 17, according to a rep for the magician.
The rep said that during a trick where Copperfield attempts walking through the rotating blades of a 12-foot high industrial fan, one of his illusion technicians was rotating the fan and its platform. Just before Copperfield reached the fan, the vortex of the moving blades pulled the technician in, causing him to suffer injuries to his arm and face.
The Clark County, Nevada Fire Department confirmed received a call from the theater at 11:25 p.m. reporting that a person’s arm had gotten stuck in a fan prop, according to the fire department’s spokesman, Scott Allison. Upon the arrival of the paramedics, the assistant’s arm had been freed and he had suffered severe bleeding.
Brandon, the assistant (whose name was withheld by the rep for his privacy), suffered multiple breaks to his arm.
According to the rep, the assistant required a surgical procedure to insert pins and bolts that lasted several hours. He said the man also required eight or nine stitches to repair a puncture wound to his face.
An eyewitness said that when the accident occurred, the audience “heard a thump.” The witness said that an assistant dropped to the floor and the curtain partially came down. There was blood all over the scene and other assistants dragged the victim back before the curtain closed completely.
The audience member said shortly after that, Copperfield came onto the stage and told the audience that they had an emergency and the show may have to be ended, adding “Please give me two minutes.” The witness said that he returned moments later and apologized, saying that the show was over and that fans would be offered a refund.
The rep said that Brandon remains in the hospital, but the show would continue as scheduled.