OSHA begins investigation into Cirque du Soleil death

- OSHA is investigating an accident that killed a performer during a Cirque du Soleil performance in Tampa Saturday night.

Yann Arnaud, an aerial performer, was pronounced dead after the fall which happened in a circus tent at the Tampa Greyhound Track. According to a company official, Arnaud’s wife was there when it happened.

Home video shot by spectators show Arnaud apparently losing his grip as he swung high about the floor.

“Reluctantly, I’ve watched that video and the truth is it was just a freak accident,” said famed circus performer Nik Wallenda. “Something could have jammed up or locked, but from what I could see, the apparatus was still hanging when he fell.”

OSHA investigators will inspect the equipment and they may also look at show schedules to see if performers may have been fatigued. 

The Cirque du Soleil Volta show is scheduled to be in New Jersey later this month, but Monday, truck drivers waited as the tent still stood in Tampa while the accident investigation is underway. 

Arnaud, 38, was originally from France, but lived in Miami. He had been with Cirque du Soleil for more than 15 years. 

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