A performer at Cirque Du Soleil has died Sunday following a tragic fall during a performance in Tampa, Florida.
The aerial acrobat, Yann Arnaud, fell on stage during a performance of their show Volta on Saturday and succumbed to his injuries Sunday, the company said. Arnaud had been with the company for more than a decade.
"The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy," Cirque du Soleil president and CEO Daniel Lamarre said in statement confirming the death on Sunday. "Yann had been with us for over 15 years and was loved by all who had the chance to know him. Over the coming days and weeks our focus will be on supporting Yann's family and our employees, especially the Volta team, as we go through these difficult times together."
Cirque du Soleil said it was looking further into the circumstances surrounding the accident and that it would offer its "full and transparent collaboration" with authorities moving forward.
The Tampa Bay Times reported, citing a video it viewed, that Arnaud fell from about 12 feet during an aerial straps performance after he lost his grip. An audience member named Ben Ritter told the paper the incident was shocking and that after the fall the acrobat was "out cold and not moving." The last two performances of the show in Tampa scheduled for Sunday were canceled after the tragic news.
There have previously been deaths as a result of accidents at Cirque du Soleil performances. Technician Olivier Rochette, who was the son of the circus' founder, died in 2016 after he was struck by a telescopic lift setting up for a performance in San Francisco. In 2013, performer Sarah Guyard-Guillot died after she fell 94 feet when a safety wire detached during a stunt.
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