A Cirque du Soleil aerialist was killed after a fall during a performance in Tampa on Saturday night.
Paris native Yann Arnaud was performing the aerial straps number when he fell onto the stage during a performance of “Volta”, Cirque du Soleil said in a statement.
“The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy. Yann had been with us for over 15 years and was loved by all who had the chance to know him,” Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, said in the statement. “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.”
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The company says it is still gathering information on the incident and is working with local authorities on the investigation.
The company cancelled its remaining Tampa shows.
The Tampa area of Florida has been a circus mainstay for over a 100 years as the Ringling Brothers were based in nearby Sarasota.
This is not the first time a Cirque du Soleil employee has died during a show.
In 2013, Sarah Guyard-Guillot died after falling more than 25 metres during a performance of Cirque de Soleil’s “Ka” at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Tributes for Arnaud immediately began on Twitter following the announcement of his death.