By Suyin Haynes
Updated: November 30, 2016 3:58 PM ET

A technician who was preparing for a Cirque du Soleil show in San Francisco died in an on-set accident, authorities said.

San Francisco police said they were called to the scene of the Cirque du Soleil Luzia show on Tuesday evening, and found that an employee of the internationally renowned circus had sustained life-threatening injuries. He was taken to a local hospital, where he later died, officials said.

The company identified the technician as Olivier Rochette from Quebec, Canada. In a statement, Cirque du Soleil CEO Daniel Lamarre said he was “heartbroken” and that Rochette “has always been a member of our tight family and a truly beloved colleague.”

The San Francisco Police Department later confirmed via Twitter that the employee of the show had died. Cirque du Soleil said in a statement that the accident happened during the pre-set for the show’s evening performance.

The Tuesday evening performance of the show was cancelled because of the incident.

Write to Suyin Haynes at


Read More From TIME