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Cirque du Soleil Cancels Shows After Co-Founder’s Son Dies in On-Stage Accident

Cirque du Soleil’s “Luzia” has canceled its San Francisco shows through Friday, following an accident that killed technician Olivier Rochette on Tuesday night.

Rochette, the son of Cirque du Soleil co-founder Gilles Ste-Croix, was struck in the head by an aerial lift approximately an hour before the show was scheduled to start. He was promptly taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

“I am heartbroken,” said Cirque du Soleil CEO Daniel Lamarre in a statement. “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.”

Rochette is survived by his four children. The San Francisco Police Department, and the Division of Occupational Safety and Health are currently investigating the incident.

This isn’t the first time an accident has occurred on the Cirque du Soleil stage. Most recently, former Olympic gymnast Lisa Skinner fell 16 feet during a Cirque du Soleil performance in Brisbane, Australia, landing on her head and breaking her vertebra and an arm. Skinner remains stable and is in “good condition,” a company spokesperson told Yahoo7 News.

Earlier on Thursday, Cirque du Soleil announced that “Paramour,” the company’s first show created for the Broadway stage, will give its last performance in April at the Lyric Theatre due to upcoming renovations. The show’s staff is currently exploring alternative venues.

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