LAVALLETTE, N.J. (AP) _ A fast-brewing thunderstorm knocked down a 30-foot tall circus tent minutes after the last show had ended, slightly injuring 14 people, the mayor said today.

The tent over Vidbel's Old Tyme Circus, of Wyndham, N.Y., fell just after 7 p.m. Wednesday when strong winds billowed and then buckled the structure, said Mayor James Boekholt Jr.

The mayor said the circus had shortened the early show on the request of the sponsors when the storm blew in suddenly, and had canceled the 8 p.m. show.

Firefighters and emergency medical crews, who were on the scene because they sponsored the circus, went to the aid of about 40 circus-goers under the tent, Boekholt said.

He said most of the 14 people injured were treated and released from hospitals with injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to broken bones. No circus employees or animals were injured, authorities said.