A Cirque du Soleil's longtime performer met his death after falling hard on the stage while doing a routine in Tampa, Florida.
Tampa authorities are now investigating the death of Yann Arnaud, a skilled aerialist for more than a decade, who was then doing his performance when he fell on the stage, as witnessed by the audience. According to police, he was doing a stunt on double rings when he lost grip, dropping from 20 feet.
Videos that surfaced saw emergency responders tending to the fallen Arnaud onstage, and the Cirque du Soleil team revealed he was immediately taken to the Tampa General Hospital, where he later passed away. The entertainment company, meanwhile, expressed their sadness of the accident.
"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, the company's CEO, said.
Furthermore, the Cirque du Soleil official said the following weeks will be dedicated to supporting Arnaud's family and their employees in dealing with this devastating incident. Of the inquiry on the accident, the company is giving its full cooperation.
An autopsy will also be done, though it seemed that what happened was an accident. No further details about the investigation has been furnished as of writing. Two VOLTA shows had been canceled in the wake of Arnaud's death.
Audience who witnessed the fall of Arnaud, meanwhile, explained they couldn't even remove the gruesome image from their mind. Julien Martinez narrated that the performer was "straining to hold on to the rope" prior the accident. He further said children were horrified and shocked of what transpired.
"It kinds of colors our opinions of what is going on behind the scenes. What is the cost of our entertainment at that point?" Martinez pointed out.
As for Arnaud, he took to his Instagram account to share his giddiness over his act with another performer that will be finally seeing light in the show on that night. The photo showed him clinging to a rope.
However, it is interesting and worth-noting that this wasn't the first mishap that happened within Cirque du Soleil. Another performer, Sarah Guillot-Guyard, died in 2013 after falling 100 feet after the failure of a safety net during a Las Vegas show. In 2016, another one was killed after an accident in San Francisco when he was setting up a lift.