This is the shocking moment a tightrope walker falls off a high wire in a circus while balancing a performer – his own mother – on his head.

The dangerous scene at the Tyumen circus in Siberia left spectators terrified when the troop climbed up to the pole and walked on the tightrope at 20ft above ground.

In videos shared online, the stuntman is seen carrying a balancing pole while having his female partner standing on one leg on his head.

The pair try to cross to the other side but as they reach midpoint, he stops and wobbles on the robe, struggling to maintain balance.

Seconds later, he slips and falls to his left, plunging to the ground.

Young children and their parents can be heard screaming as they watch the accident unfolded while a staff standing outside the circus ring manages to pull the female performer up.

She is then lowered onto the rope by a safety harness.

Another colleague quickly descends to the ground from the pole and runs to the stuntman's aid.

It is reported that the performer suffered a mild injury on both of his legs, but otherwise survived the fall.

According to Russia news agency Tass, the man was rushed to a nearby hospital for an immediate X-ray check.

A spokesperson for the circus said: "Today, during our performance, a tightrope walker fell. He previously received an injury to his left leg."

The Tyumen prosecutor's office has opened an investigation to check if the work safety rules for circus workers are being followed.

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They said: "According to preliminary data, he has bruises on both legs.

"The Prosecutor's Office of the Central District of Tyumen has organised an inspection of compliance with the labor protection rules for organising and conducting circus performances.

"Specialists of the State Labour Inspectorate in the Tyumen region will be involved in the inspection.

"If there is reason to do so, appropriate action will be taken."

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