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Performer dies in fall at Cirque du Soleil Volta show in Tampa

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Posted at 10:46 PM, Mar 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-18 13:39:47-04

A Cirque du Soleil performer who fell Saturday night during a performance in Tampa has died, a Tampa General Hospital spokeswoman said. 

The acrobat who died has been identified as Yann Arnaud, according to a statement released by Cirque de Soleil's Volta.

"It is with immense sadness that Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group reports that a tragic accident occurred last night, March 17, during a performance of its show VOLTA, in Tampa, Florida," the statement began. 

Arnaud, a longtime aerialist, was performing "the aerial straps number" when he fell onto the stage, according to the Cirque du Soleil statement. First responders moved in quickly to administer medical aid. 

Arnaud was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he later died of his injuries. 

"The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy. Yann had been with us for over 15 years and was loved by all who had the chance to know him. Over the coming days and weeks, our focus will be on supporting Yann's family and our employees, especially the VOLTA team, as we go through these difficult times together," said Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group.

Cirque du Soleil officials are gathering more information the event, the statement said. 

"We are offering our full and transparent collaboration to the authorities as they look into the circumstances of this accident," the statement added.

The last 2 shows of Volta scheduled for Sunday were canceled. All purchases through Cirque du Soleil website or call center will be automatically refunded on the credit card used for the original purchase. 

For tickets purchased through one of its partners, customers should contact the original point of sale for a refund. 

For customer's service inquiries, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/volta or call 1-877-924-7783.

Witnesses said that a ribbon dancer who had swung out over the audience slipped as he was swinging back and fell to the stage.  He was unresponsive when medical personnel rushed to attend to him.