AceShowbiz - Cirque du Soleil & VOLTA is mourning for killed performer, Yann Arnaud. The aerialist fell to his death during the latest Cirque du Soleil show in Tampa, Florida on Saturday, March 17. The company released a statement on its official Twitter account on Sunday.
The statement read, "It is with immense sadness that Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group reports that a tragic accident occurred last night, March, 17, during a performance of its show VOLTA, in Tampa, Florida."
It was also stated that Yann was later transported to the nearest hospital, but he did not survive. "While he was performing the aerial straps number, long-time aerialist Yann Arnaud, fell onto the stage. Emergency procedures were immediately activated and Yann was transported to the nearest hospital, where he later passed away from his injuries," as the statement continued.
A quote from the president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, Daniel Lamarre, was included in the statement. He said, "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. 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."
The company is currently gathering more information about the tragic event as the statement went on. They were offering full and transparent collaboration to the authorities to look into the circumstances of the accident. Due to this tragedy, Cirque du Soleil canceled two performances scheduled on Sunday, March 18 at 1:30 P.M. and 5 P.M.
Shortly before the performance, Yann posted a photo of himself on his social media account. He wrote, "After so much work and training and staging, our straps duo act is finally in the show tonight. It's time to go for it @pawel_walczewski." In addition, he posted photos of his young family. Fans have flooded the comment section since the accident.
Julien Martinez was in the audience seat on Saturday night. He told CNN that he noticed Yann straining to hold onto the rope. He commented on the fall, "It was awful. You heard all the cries of the audience. There were children there and they were freaking out." He continued, "It kinds of colors our opinions of what is going on behind the scenes. What is the cost of our entertainment at that point?"
According to the cops conducting the investigation, Yann was performing on the double rings when one of his hands slipped off the ring and fell from 20 feet above the ground. Although the death appeared to be an accident, the Tampa Police Department and OSHA perform an autopsy today as its standard protocol.
Cirque du Soleil already had another deadly accident prior to the Saturday one. In 2013, a performer named Sarah "Sasoun" Guyard-Guillot fell from nearly 100 feet to her dearth when a safety net failed to work during a performance of Ka at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.