Last night around 6:30pm, a technician working on the Cirque du Soleil show "Luzia," which has been performing in a tent in Mission Bay just south of AT&T Park, was struck and killed by a telescopic aerial work platform while setting up for the evening's performance.
According to police, the worker was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Thursday night's Luzia show was cancelled, with patrons' tickets being refunded. We contacted Cirque du Soleil to see if tonight's show would go on as scheduled, but they did not answer the phone.
The victim was male, but his identity is still being withheld, to allow his family to be contacted. The Chronicle notes that SFPD and Cal-OSHA investigators were both on the scene last night at Luzia, whose tent has been set up in the ballpark's Parking Lot A.
The show, which premiered November 17th, was originally set to perform until January 29th; it's unclear if that timeline will be affected.
While uncommon, fatal accidents have occurred in Cirque du Soleil productions in the past. An acrobat for the company was killed in Las Vegas in 2013 after a rope she was climbing severed, and another performer died after falling off a trampoline in a Montreal training facility in 2009.
Update, 1:52pm: The technician killed was Montreal-based Olivier Rochette, 42, who was the son of Gilles Ste-Croix, one of the founders of Cirque du Soleil.
"I am heartbroken," said the company's 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 beloved colleague."
Tonight's performance of Luzia has been cancelled, and the fate of future shows remains up in the air.
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