A Paris-born performer in Cirque du Soleil's "Ka" died after a fall during a show in Las Vegas.
Sarah Guyard-Guillot was pronounced dead late Saturday night at University Medical Center after she fell nearly 50 feet from the show's stage, CBS News affiliate KLAS reported.
Witnesses told the Las Vegas Sun that the accident occurred near the end of the production Saturday night at the MGM Grand.
Visitor Dan Mosqueda of Colorado Springs said the 31-year-old acrobatic performer was being hoisted up the side of the stage when it appeared that she slipped free of her safety wire and plummeted to an open pit below the stage.
"Initially, a lot of people in the audience thought it was part of the (show)," he told the Sun. "But you could hear screaming, then groaning, and we could hear a female artist crying from the stage."
The show momentarily continued, then stopped. Minutes after the accident, a recorded announcement informed audience members that refunds or vouchers to future shows would be offered, and the crowd was dismissed.
Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte issued a statement Sunday praising Guyard-Guillot and saying performances of "Ka" have been canceled until further notice.
Guyard-Guillot, a mother of two children, had been with the original cast of "Ka" since 2006, and had been an acrobatic performer for over 20 years.
"I am heartbroken. I wish to extend my sincerest sympathies to the family. We are all completely devastated with this news," Laliberte said. "Sassoon was an artist with the original cast of K? since 2006 and has been an integral part of our Cirque du Soleil tight family. We are reminded, with great humility and respect, how extraordinary our artists are each and every night. Our focus now is to support each other as a family."
Cirque officials are working with authorities investigating the accident and have offered their full cooperation, he added.
The Clark County Coroner's Office will rule on the cause of death.
KKTV firmly believes in freedom of speech for all and we are happy to provide this forum for the community to share opinions and facts. We ask that commenters keep it clean, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments left here do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of KKTV 11 News.
If you believe that any of the comments on our site are inappropriate or offensive, please tell us by clicking “Report Abuse” and answering the questions that follow. We will review any reported comments promptly.powered by Disqus
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.