Cirque du Soleil Worker Dies in San Francisco Accident

The Hollywood Reporter

A technician preparing for a Tuesday night performance of Cirque du Soleil's performance of the show Luzia at AT&T Park in San Francisco has died in a workplace accident, the Montreal-based circus troupe said Wednesday.

"The entire Cirque du Soleil family is deeply saddened by the accidental death of Luzia technician from Quebec, Olivier Rochette that happened on Nov. 29, in San Francisco," Cirque du Soleil said in a statement posted on its Twitter account.

Rochette, the son of a Cirque du Soleil co-founder, Gilles Ste-Croix, was struck by a telescopic lift at around 6:42 p.m., ahead of the 8 p.m. show time, the San Francisco police said on Tuesday night.

"The employee was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries," officer Grace Gatpandan wrote on Twitter. Gatpandan later Tuesday night confirmed that Rochette had died from his injuries.

"I am heartbroken. 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 and his family," Cirque du Soleil CEO Daniel Lamarre said in a statement also on Twitter.

In the wake of Rochette's death, the U.S.-based IATSE union offered its sympathies to the young man's family. "Out of respect, the IATSE will be cancelling its plans to leaflet the Cirque du Soleil's OVO show at the Bell Centre on Dec 1," the union said in a statement on Thursday.

IATSE has been campaigning for a contract with the non-union performance of OVO in Montreal.

Dec. 1, 2016 3 p.m. Updated with statement from IATSE on the death of Olivier Rochette.

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