Tampa police open investigation into Cirque Du Soleil death

Image 1 of 4

The Tampa Police Department has started an investigation following the death performer at a Cirque du Soleil show Saturday night.

The performer fell while swinging from an aerial strap. Video of the incident shows the man swinging over the audience before falling to the stage. 

Officials confirmed to FOX 13 that the performer was pronounced dead after being taken a local hospital. Cirque du Soleil identified the victim as Yann Arnaud, and said he had been with the company for 15 years. 

The show ended following the incident and guests were asked to leave. A spokesperson for Cirque du Soleil said they would be in touch with ticket-holders. Sunday's performances that were scheduled for 1:30 and 5 p.m. were cancelled. They were the last two shows in Tampa.

The Cirque du Soleil show, Volta, has been held in a tent at the Tampa Greyhound Track since mid-February. 

A spokesperson for Cirque du Soleil released the following statement about the incident:

"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. While he was performing the aerial straps number, long-time aerialist, Yann Arnaud, fell onto the stage. Emergency procedures were immediately activated and Yann was transported to the nearest hospital, where he later passed away from 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.

We are currently gathering more information about this tragic event. We are offering our full and transparent collaboration to the authorities as they look into the circumstances of this accident."