Cirque du Soleil Aerialist Dies After Fall in Tampa Performance
The Tampa Police Department is investigating the performer’s death.
TAMPA – A Cirque du Soleil aerialist died this morning (March 18) of injuries he suffered when he fell about 20 feet onto the stage during a performance of Volta.
Yann Arnaud, 38, died at Tampa General Hospital.
The Tampa Police Department said Mr. Arnaud fell at about 9:52 p.m. Saturday (March 17) when one of his hands slipped from the double rings. He fell about 20 feet to the ground.
Tampa police are investigating the incident, which, they said, is standard practice even though Mr. Arnaud’s death appears to be accidental. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner is expected to perform an autopsy on Monday (March 19).
Cirque du Soleil has cancelled performances scheduled for today at Grand Chapiteau at the Tampa Greyhound Track, 8300 N Nebraska Ave.
Cirque du Soleil issued this statement:
“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, FL. 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.
“‘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,’ said Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group.
“We are currently gathering more information about this tragic event. We are offering our full and transparent collaboration to the authorities as they look into the circumstances of this accident.”
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