An experienced Cirque du Soleil aerialist has tragically passed away after he fell to the stage during a performance in Florida on March 17.

Cirque du Soleil confirmed in a Twitter statement that aerialist, husband, and father Yann Arnaud had devastatingly died from a fall during a performance of VOLTA in Tampa, Florida on Saturday evening.

Mr Arnaud was suspended via an aerialist strap, swinging over the audience before he fell from a great height and landed on the stage. According to Fox News, Mr Arnaud was approximately 15 feet above the audience before he plummeted. Shocked audiences were asked to leave the tent as emergency protocols were immediately implemented.

Cirque confirmed on social media that Mr Arnaud was transported to the nearest hospital where he later passed away from his injuries.

Cirque Du Soleil Entertainment Group released the following statement:

“The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy. Yann had been with us for over 15 years and was loved by all who had the chance to know him. Over the coming days and weeks, our focus will be on supporting Yann’s family and our employees, especially the VOLTA team as we go through these difficult times together,” said Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group.

Cirque statement on Twitter. @Cirque

Police have now opened an investigation into the matter where Cirque has publicly stated they will be “offering full and transparent collaboration to the authorities as they look into the circumstances of this accident,” according to its Twitter feed.

Mr Arnaud is not the first Cirque du Soleil history to die during a performance after a female acrobat and mother Sarah Guyard fell 15 metres from a high wire during a Las Vegas performance in 2013.

In 2016, Olivier Rochette, a technician of the circus and the son of Cirque du Soleil co-founder Gilles Ste-Croix was struck by a telescopic lift before a show Luzia in San Francisco and later died in hospital.

In that same year, Australian Cirque acrobat Lisa Skinner survived a series fall during a Brisbane performance after plummeting three to five metres, landing on her head.

The last two shows of VOLTA’s month-long season due to have taken place on Sunday were cancelled. 

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