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Culture Circus Accident United States

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Cirque du Soleil performer dies after fall in Florida

Cirque du Soleil, a show involving asymetrical bars ©Cirque du Soleil

A performer working with the Cirque du Soleil in Tampa, Florida, fell to his death at the weekend. The 38-year-old aerialist, Yann Arnaud, was suspended by straps above the stage during a performance of its Volta show on Saturday night when he fell. He was rushed to hospital but died of his injuries.

"The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated," a statement said.

The company said it was working with local authorities to investigate what had gone wrong and has cancelled two shows scheduled for Tampa on Sunday.

Arnaud had been with the Cirque du Soleil for over 15 years.

He "was loved by all who had the chance to know him", company CEO Daniel Lamarre said.

It is not the first time the Montreal-based company has faced tragedy.

In 2013 French acrobat Sarah Guillot-Guyard died after plunging from a high-wire in front of a horrified crowd at a Las Vegas show.

The 31-year-old mother-of-two fell from a height of around 15 metres as she was being hoisted up toward the roof of the stage on a wire for a battle scene in the show.

In 2009 Ukrainian acrobat Olexandre Jourov, 24, died from a fall during a rehearsal in Montreal.