David Copperfield does a 90 minute show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas twice daily called An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion. During Wednesday night’s show, something went very wrong and an ‘illusion technician’ was severely injured.
The stunt involves a giant 12 foot high industrial fan that assistants rotate while Copperfield walks through the whirring blades. During this particular performance, an illusion technician named Brandon was pulled into the vortex of the moving blades. He reportedly suffered injuries to his arm and face.
Audience members were shocked as blood was flying and the curtain was closed to block their view. Many thought it was part of the act when Copperfield initially came out on stage and told the crowd that they might have to end the show. He went backstage again and returned several minutes later indicating the show was done and instructed the audience to request a full refund.
Clark County Fire Department was dispatched at 11:25 p.m. Spokesperson Scott Allison said they received a 911 call indicating that someone’s arm was stuck in a fan prop. When EMS arrived on the scene, the man’s arm had been freed but he was bleeding profusely.
Brandon was transported to University Medical Center where he underwent several hours of surgery on his severely damaged arm. Doctors inserted pins and bolts to repair multiple breaks. He also required stitches to his face for a large puncture wound.
Copperfield made the following statement afterward, ” Many people assume that the death-defying illusions I do on stage are not dangerous. This unfortunate accident shows that assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. We’re just thankful that Brandon’s injuries weren’t worse.”
We’ve got a video of Copperfield performing the fan illusion below. Check it out.
Having seen Copperfield’s current act, we found it to be a huge waste of money and possibly the worst Vegas act ever to hit the strip. There were more shills than legitimate paying customers.