Cirque Du Soleil Aerialist Fell 30 Feet To Stage; Died In Surgery

Cirque Du Soleil Aerialist Fell 30 Feet To Stage; Died In Surgery

TAMPA, FL – Yann Arnaud, the Cirque Du Soleil aerialist who died Saturday night during a show in Tampa, fell about 30 feet onto the stage, landing on his head and right side and causing skull fractures and hemorrhaging to the brain, according to an initial case summary report from the Hillsborough Medical Examiner’s Office. The 38-year-old Arnaud died from "blunt impact to the head and neck," the report said.

Paramedics arrived about 9:52 p.m. and found Arnaud to be unresponsive with labored breathing. He was taken to Tampa General Hospital and paramedics noted facial swelling and multiple rib fractures. Paramedics also noted that blood was collecting in the space between the chest wall and his lungs. He died about five hours later at 3:30 a.m. while undergoing surgery. Arnaud went into cardiac arrest and could not be revived, the report said.

Arnaud and another performer were conducting a new routine that involved swinging over the stage from straps. Arnaud posted on Instagram earlier in the day that he would be performing the routine for the first time.

The Tampa Police Department and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating, but police have said the fall will likely be ruled an accident.

Arnaud was performing in the show VOLTA on Saturday night under tents at Nebraska and Waters avenues. The show was canceled after the fall.

"The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy," the Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group said in a release on Sunday. "Yann had been with us for over 15 years and was loved by all who had the chance to know him."

Arnaud was born in France and lived in Miami with his wife and two children.

Photo credit: Claire Greenway/Getty Images

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