'Wheel of Death' sequence replaced after latest Cirque fall - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

'Wheel of Death' sequence replaced after latest Cirque fall

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

A sequence that was used when a Cirque Du Soleil performer fell 20 feet to the ground in a live staging of Zarkana is expected to be replaced in the performance.

A spokesperson for Cirque Du Soleil said Monday it will replace the "Wheel of Death" sequence from the show at the Aria Resort and Casino after Friday's incident. The spokesperson said a back-up aerial strap act will be used in place of the sequence.

Cirque also said the replacement act will be used until the performer recovers.

Officials from Clark County Fire and Rescue said the performer was rushed by ambulance to UMC.

Cirque Du Soleil officials have not identify the actor who fell. In a statement over the weekend, Cirque said the performer is in stable condition at the hospital and is expected to be OK.

Chad Quinn and his girlfriend were in the audience during Friday's 7 p.m. Zarkana show, among hundreds mesmerized by a spectacle of lights, music and high-flying acrobats. He says the audience let out a collective gasp about an hour after the show started, when the actor appeared to slip off the wheel and fall onto the stage.

"He bounced a little bit, tried to get back up and then seemed to lay back down," Quinn said. He said even from his seat near the back of the theater, he heard "a loud thud" when the actor hit the stage, landing just inches away from a safety mat.

The curtains closed for about 10 minutes, Quinn said, and then the performance concluded leaving him and his girlfriend rattled and hoping the actor was ok. He said the audience wasn't given an explanation about what happened, or informed if the actor was ok.

"As somebody going to a performance, are we supposed to think we may see somebody really injure themselves or get killed during this performance?" Quinn wondered, saying he canceled his plans to see another Cirque Du Soleil show during his vacation from the east coast.

This accident happened just five months after Sarah Guillot-Guyard, a Cirque Du Soleil acrobat fell 94 feet to her death when a rope snapped during a performance of KA at the MGM Grand.

"It shakes you a little bit knowing the history of a few months ago," Quinn said.

On Monday, OSHA issued six citations to Cirque Du Soleil for that incident. MGM was also cited, but said they plan to appeal those citations.

MGM chose not to comment on Friday night's accident, but performances of Zarkana are continuing as scheduled.

Some staff members at Aria said off-camera that they haven't been told if there will be changes to the show's "Wheel of Death" act in light of the accident.

"It's a traumatic experience for several hundred people to witness at the same time," Quinn said, noting he's in "no rush" to see another Cirque Du Soleil performance.

Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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