Cirque du Soleil aerialist plunges to death during performance

Updated 2018-03-19 17:25:06 Xinhua

A veteran performer with Cirque du Soleil died Saturday after falling onto stage during a performance in Florida, the company confirmed.

Yann Arnaud, an aerialist who had been with Cirque du Soleil for 15 years, was injured while performing the aerial straps act during the company's show "Volta' in Tampa, Florida.

Arnaud was taken to hospital, where he later died.

Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of the entertainment company, said in a statement that "the entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy."

The company said it will give its "full and transparent collaboration to authorities" as they investigate the incident.

Two days before the incident, Arnaud had announced on Instagram that his aerial "straps duo act is finally in the show."

"It's time to go for it," he posted.

Members of the audience present at the show told local media they were frightened. "There were children there and they were freaking out," one circus goer said.

This is not the first time that a lethal accident happened during a Cirque du Soleil show. In June 2013, Sarah Guillot-Guyard, a 31-year-old acrobat, died after a 50-foot falling during a show at a Las Vegas casino.

Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil, which means "Circus of the Sun", is the world's largest theatrical producer. The Canadian company revolutionized the circus, especially after performances with wild animals were banned worldwide.

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