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In the Media

article imageCirque Du Soleil acrobat fell 90 feet to her death: Coroner

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By Yukio Strachan
Jul 3, 2013 in Entertainment
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Las Vegas - An official autopsy report released late Tuesday offers new details into the death of veteran acrobat Sarah Guillot-Guyard who fell to her death Saturday night during a performance of Cirque du Soleil's "Ka" at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The 31-year old French-born mother of two young children, 8 and 5, died of multiple blunt force trauma after falling about 90 feet from the show's vertical stage, the Clark County Coroner's Office said, KLAS Las Vegas reported.
This report updates earlier estimates that she fell 50 feet.
Dan Kulin, a county spokesman, told the Las Vegas Sun that the Coroner’s Office determined Guyard-Guillot’s death was accidental.
Determining how the accident happened could take up to six months, the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration said after launching an investigation into the fatal fall, The Associated Press writes.
Guyard-Guillot was performing in the final scene of “Ka” at the MGM Grand on Saturday night, when witnesses say the wire she was attached to snapped, plummeting her into a open pit below the stage.
“Initially, a lot of people in the audience thought it was part of the (show),” Visitor Dan Mosqueda of Colorado Springs, Colo., told the Sun. “But you could hear screaming, then groaning, and we could hear a female artist crying from the stage.”
Another audience member described the chilling scene this way:
"We were sitting dead center in the 2nd section and watched it happen. The stage was completely vertical and she was either above the top of the stage or climbing over the top. At first it looked like a controlled descent and she made one cartwheel rotation but she picked up speed and disappeared into the pit below. All motion on stage stopped but the music played for a little while. When the other performers started looking down it was obvious that something wasn't right. Then she started making horrendously painful sounds, the music cut out and her screams were the only noises coming from the stage."
Minutes later, a recorded announcement informed audience members that refunds or vouchers to future shows would be offered, and the crowd was dismissed, The AP reported.
Guyard-Guillot was pronounced dead late Saturday night at 11:43 p.m. at University Medical Center.
She had been with the original cast of "Ka" since 2006, and had been an acrobatic performer for more than 20 years, according to Cirque officials, according to the AP.
"I am heartbroken," Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte said in a statement. "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."
According to the official web site, performances of “Ka” have been canceled until further notice.
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