Son of Cirque du Soleil founder killed in preshow accident in San Francisco

A technician working on Cirque du Soleil’s “Luzia” show died Tuesday after being struck by a lift in a preshow accident in San Francisco, the show’s organizers announced.

The worker was hit by a telescopic aerial work platform at AT&T Park, the show tweeted. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to the Associated Press.


San Francisco police and CalOSHA officials visited the site Tuesday night to investigate the incident, which was termed an industrial accident.

Cirque du Soleil identified the victim as 42-year-old Olivier Rochette, of Quebec, Canada, whose father Gilles Ste-Croix, was one of the founders of Cirque du Soleil.

“I am heartbroken. I wish to extend in my name and in the name of all Cirque du Soleil employees my sincerest sympathies and offer my full support to Gilles and his family. Olivier has always been a member of our tight family and a truly beloved colleague,” show Chief Executive Daniel Lamarre said in a statement.

A show in Sacramento scheduled for Wednesday night was cancelled. A CalOSHA official said Cirque du Soleil does not have any recorded accidents in California in at least the last five years.

The incident comes just days after former Australian Olympic gymnast Lisa Skinner was injured in a fall during a Cirque du Soleil show in Brisbane, according to international media reports.

In 2013, Cirque du Soleil performer Sarah Guillot-Guyard died during a performance of “Ka” in La Vegas when she fell almost 100 feet during the show’s climax.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.


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2:20 p.m.: Updated with identity of victim.