Cirque Du Soleil And MGM Blamed In Acrobat’s Death

Cirque du Soleil And MGM Grand are facing citations in the death of an acrobat. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has concluded their four-month investigation into the death of 31-year-old Sarah Guillot-Guyard. OSHA recommended a total of nine citations against the production company and the venue.

Guillot-Guyard was killed during a performance titled Ka, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. On June 29, the experienced acrobat was performing 94 feet above the audience on a wire rope. Guillot-Guyard died of blunt-force trauma when the rope unexpectedly snapped, causing her to fall to the ground.

As reported by ABC News, investigators concluded that the rope was compromised when the acrobat “ascended too quickly.” Her movements reportedly dislodged the rope from the pulley assembly. The rope was eventually severed when it came into contact with a “sheer point.”

OSHA investigators said Guillot-Guyard’s accident was caused by a combination of insufficient training and poor assessment of workplace hazards.

The report suggests six citations against Cirque du Soleil for failing to provide proper training and failure to assess hazards. The investigators suggested three citations against MGM for exposing their employees to a hazardous environment.

As reported by CNN, both companies will appeal OSHA’s citations.

Cirque du Soleil spokeswoman Renée-Claude Ménard said the production company “completed an exhaustive review” of their equipment and procedures to ensure the safety of their performers, crew, and the audience.

Representatives with MGM Grand said “safety always has been the top priority.” They said they will continue “to ensure the safety” of all performers and the crew.

Guillot-Guyard performed as an acrobat and aerialist for more than 20 years. A native of Paris, she joined the original cast of Ka in 2006. The talented performer also taught children’s fitness classes based on Cirque performances.

Cirque du Soleil, which is French for “Circus of the Sun,” was founded in 1984. Guillot-Guyard is the only cast member killed during a performance in the company’s 29-year history.

[Image via Flickr]

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