A Cirque du Soleil acrobat has fallen to her death in front of a live audience in Las Vegas.
Sarah "Sassoon" Guyard-Guillot, a 31-year-old mother-of-two, reportedly died on her way to hospital late on Saturday night after plunging about 15m from a suspended wire during the closing "battle" scene of the Ka production at the MGM Grand hotel-casino.
It is the first reported death from an onstage accident in Cirque's 30-year history.
Guyard-Guillot, who was born in Paris and had spent more than 22 years as an acrobatic performer, was being hoisted up the side of the show's vertical stage when she slipped free of her safety wire and dropped to the open, unseen pit below the performers, the Las Vegas Sun reports.
The show continued for a moment, but then the music stopped, and the performer's groans could be heard from below the stage.
"Initially, a lot of people in the audience thought it was part of the choreographed fight. But you could hear screaming, then groaning, and we could hear a female artist crying from the stage," audience member Annie Mosqueda wrote on Twitter.
The show was stopped minutes later.
"I am heartbroken," Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte said in a statement.
"I wish to extend my sincerest sympathies to the family. We are all completely devastated with this news.
"Sassoon was an artist with the original cast of 'Ka' 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."
Performances of Ka have been cancelled until further notice, he added.
Source: Las Vegas Sun
Author: Erin Tennant, Approving Editor: Jack Hawke.