A Russian actor died in an accident during a live opera performance at Moscow’s famed Bolshoi Theatre.
The incident took place on Saturday, when Yevgeny Kulesh allegedly became trapped during a set change and was crushed to death, according to the New York Post, which described how events unfolded that night after viewing footage of the incident.
Unaware that Kulesh was trapped, the actors and orchestra continued with the act until one man on stage alerted them to the accident, the outlet noted.
"Stop, stop! Call an ambulance, someone got hit by the backdrop! There’s blood!" the man yelled in Russian.
At that point, the curtain was lowered and audiences were eventually informed that the performance was canceled.
"The opera was immediately stopped and the audience was asked to leave," the theatre said in a statement.
Kulesh was declared dead by the time first responders arrived.
There are conflicting accounts about how Kulesh died. Multiple reports state he was crushed by a ramp, while other sources said he had been killed by a falling piece of decor.
It was also reported that the actor may have gotten trapped after moving in the wrong direction during the set change, but a former dancer at the Bolshoi, Nikolai Tsiskaridze, blamed the conditions at the theater.
"Backstage is hell. Dancers damage their legs when sets and staircases fall over," he said. "We must not blame Yevgeny or find a scapegoat."
Tsiskaridze added that he has complained before about the situation at the Bolshoi, explaining that there is "no order, no medicine, no ethics."
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