A Russian actor was killed after falling scenery fatally crushed him during a performance at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
The world-renowned theatre said Yevgeny Kulesh was killed in an accident during a set change in the opera Sadko on Saturday evening, according to comments carried by the Interfax news agency.
The opera, which was composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, was “immediately stopped” and the audience asked to leave the hall, Bolshoi Theatre said.
Moscow's Investigative Committee said in a statement that it was investigating the death of the 37-year-old performer.
According to local reports, Mr Kulesh had been with the theatre since 2002. Footage shared online appeared to show panicked performers pleading with staff to lift the prop that had fallen on top of him. Audience members initially believed the incident was part of a stage trick but soon realised what was happening and called for help.
It’s believed that the performer went in the wrong direction as the scenery was being lowered and became trapped underneath as a result.
Despite efforts from onlookers, Mr Kulesh could not be revived.
Similarly tragic incidents have occurred at the Bolshoi Theatre in the past. In 2013 a senior violinist died after falling into the orchestra pit. Viktor Sedov was a veteran of the theatre having played in its orchestra for four decades.
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