San Francisco

Cirque Du Soleil Worker Dies After Industrial Accident Before AT&T Park Show: Police

Tuesday's scheduled show was canceled after an equipment operator suffered major injuries and died at a local hospital

A technician died Tuesday night after an industrial accident during the set-up for the Cirque du Soleil show at AT&T Park in San Francisco, police said, marking the third death for the worldwide acrobatic show since 2009, according to reports and federal records.

At about 6:45 p.m., San Francisco police responded to Lot A at Mission Rock and Third Street on reports of an industrial accident at the Cirque du Soleil Luzia tent, police said.

The employee was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said. He died later.

The worker, who had not been identified pending notification of family, was struck by a lift, according to a Cirque du Soleil official.

Tuesday night's scheduled show was canceled. Emilia Flockhart told NBC Bay Area that "people were of course disappointed, but the atmosphere was generally OK and met with understanding." She said she bought tickets for next Tuesday's show instead.

Cirque du Soleil released a statement about the death late Tuesday night.

"It is with immense sadness that we report a fatal accident that occurred on November 29, during the preset of the show Luzia in San Francisco," the statement reads. "One of our employees, a technician on the show, was struck by a lift and passed away from his injuries. We cannot confirm our employee’s identity at this time as his family has yet to be reached. We are currently gathering more information about this tragic accident and will update you with more details as soon as we are in a position to do so."

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration records, Cirque du Soleil, a Montreal-based company that bills itself as the "largest theatrical producer in the world," 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, 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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