Investigators probe Cirque du Soleil death in Las Vegas

Mon Jul 1, 2013 10:19pm EDT
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By Timothy Pratt

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Federal occupational safety officials are investigating the death of a performer during Cirque du Soleil's "KA" show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Cirque officials said on Monday.

"KA" performances also were canceled until further notice. No details about the investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were immediately disclosed and agency officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Authorities have not said how Sarah Guyard-Guillot, 31, was killed during a Saturday night performance of "KA." Local media, citing witnesses, reported she fell during the final scene.

During that scene, the stage is vertical and performers engage in battle about 70 feet high while wearing safety harnesses attached to a cable.

It was the second accident to befall Cirque in less than a week. Last Wednesday, a performer in the company's Las Vegas production of "Michael Jackson One" suffered a mild concussion after falling about 5 feet, a Cirque spokesman said.

Audience members told Las Vegas media that they thought Guyard-Guillot's fall was part of the show, but quickly discovered otherwise when the show was halted.

Aryan Rahmati, who was sitting in the center of the audience, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal: "The person who fell was flailing her arms. She didn't look like she was in control of her body."

Like many of the hundreds of Cirque performers and employees in Las Vegas, Guyard-Guillot also used her skills to work in the community, teaching at a school called Cirquefit, a Las Vegas program for children.   Continued...