A Florida performance of aerial acrobatics ended in tragedy recently when a man fell about 20 feet to his death during a new stunt.
According to the Tampa Bay Times Yann Arnaud was swinging from an aerial ring shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday night when he apparently lost his grip and plummeted to the stage during the Tampa Cirque du Soleil performance.
Reports indicate medical personnel were on hand and responded immediately as the show came to an abrupt end. Arnaud was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead Sunday morning.
A video published by the Daily Mail purportedly shows the moments leading up to the deadly incident.
One audience member described Arnaud as “out cold and not moving” as soon as he landed on the floor. Several others expressed concern on social media.
— Amanda Scherer (@ae_scherer) March 18, 2018
The troupe’s remaining shows in Tampa have been cancelled in the wake of Saturday’s tragedy. Those who attended Saturday’s performance directly reportedly received an immediate refund.
Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group President and CEO Daniel Lamarre released a statement expressing “shock” and devastation upon hearing the news.
“Yann had been with us for over 15 years and was loved by all who had the chance to know him,” he said.
The company has promised to independently investigate the incident in accordance with a police investigation. As of the latest updates available, authorities were treating Arnaud’s death as an apparent accident.
He had been performing in the new Volta show since Feb. 14 in a series of performances set to end the day after his death. According to social media accounts linked to him, he lived in Miami with his wife and daughter.
The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office is expected to perform an autopsy on Arnaud Monday.
[Featured image: Yann Arnaud, Inna Gorelova/Instagram and video screenshots]