(LAS VEGAS) — A high-wire performer with Cirque du Soleil was killed after she fell 50 feet during a performance of KA at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Acrobat Sarah Guyard, 31, who was an original member of the KA cast, fell after a wire suspending her reportedly snapped on Saturday night. She died on the way to the hospital.
Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte issued a statement saying he was heartbroken by the death, and performances of the show have been canceled indefinitely.
“I am heartbroken. I wish to extend my sincerest sympathies to the family. We are all completely devastated,” Laliberte said. “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.”
Cirque du Soleil, one of the most revered acrobatic companies in the world, had never had a performer die in its 30-year history.
An audience member tweeted that a “wire snapped” during the final scene of the show.
“Performers were at the highest point on the vertical wall,” the tweeter said.
“Other actors were visibly upset & horrified. Crew members were calm & one by one got the other performers off stage,” the audience member tweeted. “The performer’s screams and groans could be heard from below the stage.”
MGM Resorts International offered its condolences to Guyard and Cirque:
“Our company is deeply saddened by the loss of one of the talented KA artists Saturday night. The thoughts and prayers of our employees are with the performer’s family, the cast of KA, and the entire Cirque family during this difficult time.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Camille Verdier, Steve Visser and Margot Haddad, CNN
Lorenzo D'Agostino and Hilary Clarke, CNN
Katie Lobosco, CNN