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OSHA fines Cirque in 'O' injury incident

John Katsilometes, Las Vegas Review-Journal on

Published in Entertainment News

LAS VEGAS — A pair of government-issued penalties have reminded of the human risk of Cirque du Soleil’s acrobatic artistry.

Las Vegas’ predominant production company has been cited for two “Serious” violations in an incident that has sidelined an experienced, accomplished artist in its flagship show.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has leveled $31,250 in fines from the accident in “O” at the Bellagio on June 28, in which Cirque artist Kyle Mitrione was seriously injured.

The penalties were $15,625 apiece, OSHA’s maximum fine for an on-site work violation.

For context, “O” grosses about $250,000 per show, 12 shows per week, selling more than than 90% of its 1,800 seat theater. As Cirque’s best-selling residency production, “O” show grosses between $120 million and $140 million annually. The production celebrated its 25th anniversary in October.

In his recovery, Mitrone has since been working on regaining the use of his legs at a facility near Denver. The Island scene was initially taken down from the production after the incident, but was reportedly returned Nov. 24.

 

Two senior Cirque officials left the show within a week of Mitrione’s injury.

OSHA’s penalties were issued after a nearly four-month investigation into the incident.

The 35-year-old Mitrone is a former Purdue University diving standout, a team co-captain and honorable-mention All-America competitor in 2009-2010.

The expert diver has also been a member of the Red Bull Cliff Diving extreme stunt team.

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