Cirque du Soleil says aerialist didn’t slip out of harness


As a government investigation gets underway concerning the death on Saturday of a Cirque du Soleil performer in Las Vegas, the Montreal company has publicly stated that Sarah Guillot-Guyard, 31, didn’t slip out of her harness prior to her fatal accident.

Guillot-Guyard, a seven-year Cirque veteran, was performing in “Ka” Saturday evening at the MGM Grand when she plummeted to the ground near the end of the show. She was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.

“Her harness was still on and she did not slip out of her harness,” said Cirque spokeswoman Renee-Claude Menard in a statement to The Times. She said that Cirque is cooperating in an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.


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An OSHA spokeswoman said in a separate statement to The Times that investigators typically have six months to complete an investigation to determine whether there were any legal violations and, if so, what actions need to be taken and whether there would be penalties assessed.

It remains unclear exactly how Guillot-Guyard fell to the ground during the performance on Saturday. News about the harness was reported earlier Wednesday by Variety.

Saturday’s fatality is believed to be the first time that a Cirque performer has died from injuries sustained during a performance. In 2009, a Cirque performer died after falling off a trampoline during training in Montreal.


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