'Flying Wallendas' cross Times Square on high wire

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[June 24, 2019]    (Reuters) - A brother and sister tightrope act crossed Times Square on a high wire 25 floors above the New York landmark on Sunday night.

Aerialist Nik Wallenda walks the highwire with his sister Lijana as they greet the crowd over Times Square in New York, U.S., June 23, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Nik and Lijana Wallenda, of the "Flying Wallendas" circus and stunt-performing family, walked from opposite sides of the square on a wire running 1,300 feet (396 meters) from 42nd Street to 47th Street.

The two crossed midway on their 36-minute walk, Lijana, 42, sitting down so Nik, 40, could step over her, before she got up and continued her way, cheered on by a crowd of thousands below.

"Only by the grace of God," said Lijana as she walked, listening to gospel music and talking to her brother through a wireless connection.

It was Lijana's first high-wire performance since a 2017 accident in which she and four other walkers fell 30 feet (9 meters) and were seriously injured.

"Fear will not conquer me, and it didn't," she said close to completing the walk, urged on by her brother.

The Wallendas wore safety harnesses in order to gain city approval for the stunt.

(Reporting by Andrew Hay; Editing by Paul Tait)

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