News World Cirque du Soleil acrobat dies after fall during show

Cirque du Soleil acrobat dies after fall during show

Yann Arnaud Cirque du Soleil
Yann Arnaud (left) has died after falling almost 50 metres during an aerial straps performance. Photo: Getty
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A Cirque du Soleil aerial performer has died after falling onstage during a high-flying act in Tampa, Florida.

Yann Arnaud, an aerialist with 15 years experience, fell while performing the aerial straps routine during the company’s VOLTA show on Saturday night local time, the Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group said in a statement released on Monday morning (AEDT).

He was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

“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,” Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group president and CEO Daniel Lamarre said.

“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.”

Mr Lamarre said that Cirque du Soleil would further investigate the accident.

The group said it was also offering its “full and transparent collaboration” with authorities who are investigating the circumstances of the death.

Yann Arnaud Cirque du Soleil
Veteran aerialist Yann Arnaud was unresponsive after the incident. Photo: Instagram.

The Tampa Bay Times reports video of the incident was posted online, showing Mr Arnaud falling almost 50 metres after losing hold of an aerial strap.

Colleagues quickly rushed to his aid but according to witnesses the performer was “out cold and not moving”.

The audience was asked to leave the arena after the fall before the show was cancelled.

The last two performances of Volta in Tampa, which were scheduled to take place Sunday local time, were cancelled.

In 2013 acrobat Sarah Guyard was the first performer to die the history of Cirque du Soleil.

The 31-year-old fell from the high wire during a performance of KA in Las Vegas.

In 2016 technician Olivier Rochette, son of the circus’s co-founder Gilles Ste-Croix, was killed while setting up for the show Luzia in San Francisco.

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