San Francisco

Cirque du Soleil Performers Return to San Francisco Spotlight

Cirque du Soleil performers will return to the stage Saturday night four days after a company technician died before a scheduled performance at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Oliver Rochette, who was later identified as the son of one of Cirque du Soleil's founders, died Tuesday night during set-up of the company's show "Luzia," marking the third time since 2009 that an emloyee affiliated with the worldwide acrobatic show died on the job.

Following the fatality, Cirque du Soleil cancelled multiple shows scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. A performance scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Saturday was also cancelled, but the 8 p.m. show is a go, the company announced Saturday.

"Cirque du Soleil wishes to thank fans, friends, family members, the San Francisco community and the entire Cirque du Soleil family from around the world for their love and support through these difficult times," the company wrote in statement.

Rochette was struck by a lift about 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday at the AT&T Park show in Lot A at Mission Rock and Third Street. He was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. He died later.

Cal-OSHA has six months to investigate the death. Cal-OSHA's investigation consists of checks and tests on safety equipment and work equipment as well as ensuring workplace conditions met all safety standards.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration records, Cirque du Soleil has four violations, including one death, cited in the last five years within the United States.

The most notable was on June 29, 2013, when Sarah Guillot-Guyard died during a show in Las Vegas. She had fallen 94 feet in front of spectators after the wire attached to her safety harness shredded during the production of "Ka." She was the second death during a Cirque show.

The first person to die on Cirque's watch was in 2009, the Guardian reported, when Ukrainian acrobat Oleksandr Zhurov, 24, died during a Montreal, Quebec rehearsal.

And just three days ago in Brisbane, Australia, acrobat Lisa Skinner was hospitalized, when she lost her grip on a ring during a "Kooza" performance, according to Courier Mail.

The other U.S. violations OSHA has on record occurred in Florida in October, and two others in Nevada, in 2013 and 2014.

Cirque du Soleil had zero violations in California over the last five years, according to OSHA records.

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