UPDATED 7/1/13 **
Just reported on ABC TV, a 31-year old veteran and original member of KA, Sarah Guillot-Guyard, fell 50 feet last night during an acrobatic act, her fall witnessed by the audience, initially confused, not even sure if it was a part of the show. But screams and deep groans could be heard coming from the stage, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
She was pronounced dead at 11:43 p.m. Saturday at University Medical Center.
** As originally reported, this marked the first fatality in the show's 29 year history. But, as since reported by the Los Angeles Times, in 2009 a Cirque performer from the Ukraine named Oleksandr
Zhurov died in Montreal "after sustaining head
injuries from falling off a trampoline during training".
It seems, and this is fuzzy, that a harness the Parisian-born Guillot-Guyard was wearing (as do all other members in the number), may have snapped - or she slipped out of it. According to the report, "Each performer wears a harness equipped with hand controls to help steer their guide wires."
Said Cirque du Soleil co-founder Guy Laliberte, "I am heartbroken. I wish to extend my sincerest
sympathies to the family. We are all completely devastated with this
He added, “We are reminded, with great
humility and respect, how extraordinary our artists are each and every
night. Our focus now is to support each other as a family.”
In the same week, more misfortune visited CDS when, during the June 26th preview of the Michael Jackson installation, ONE, a performer suffered a mild concussion after "slipping from a rope and falling onto a safety pad."
Performances of KA have been cancelled until further notice.