Society

Cirque Du Soleil Pre-Show Incident Leads To Death

| by Michael Doherty
A Cirque du Soleil performance.A Cirque du Soleil performance.

A Cirque du Soleil employee is reportedly dead after an incident during a "pre-set" for a show in San Francisco.

Police responded to a report of an "industrial accident" at the the Cirque du Soleil "Luzia" tent Nov. 29, where they found an employee who was injured after being hit by a lift. The employee was reportedly taken to a hospital, where they later died, according to USA Today.

The Nov. 29 Cirque du Soleil "Luzia" show was canceled. The show is scheduled to run until the end of January.

"It is with immense sadness that we report a fatal incident," the company said in a statement. "One of our employees, a technician on the show, was struck by a lift and passed away from his injuries."

The company has not named the employee or released additional information about the incident.

Authorities said that an investigation was ongoing, with the SFPD Traffic Collision Investigation Unit and Cal-OSHA, which regulates workplace safety in California, looking into the incident.

The incident has reportedly reignited concerns over safety at Cirque du Soleil performances, according to CNN.

The incident in San Francisco is the second in a week for the company, after 35-year-old Lisa Skinner, an Australian former Olympic gymnast who performs with Cirque du Soleil, fell about 16 feet during a performance, suffering a fractured neck and a broken arm. The gymnast is reportedly "stable and in good condition," said a company spokesperson, according to Yahoo! News.

Skinner's mother said that her daughter will wear a halo brace that will prevent her body from moving while she recovers.

The company previously saw the 2013 death of Sarah Guillot-Guyard, a performer who fell almost 100 feet when the rope that had been holding her snapped. The incident that led to Guillot-Guyard's death came in the middle of a performance, in front of a stunned audience at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Sources: USA Today, Yahoo! News, CNN / Photo credit: Benson Kua/Flickr

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