Legendary hoofer Betty Pallas died tragically yesterday when she was mown down by the chorus line during a matinee performance of her new show on Broadway.
Pallas, who was a hundred and six this year, first started dancing professionally at the age of seven, and once famously claimed that she would dance until she dropped.
According to eyewitness reports, the chorus line that killed her had been careering wildly out of control for some minutes before it broke loose and charged across the stage, trampling scenery, props and - ultimately - the redoubtable Ms Pallas herself.
Although it may be some months before the official report emerges, many feel that the initial blame lies with director Bud Tacco.
"He was totally irresponsible," said one anonymous crew member. "He was ordering people about with wild abandon; didn't heed the people telling him to slow down. He was like a man possessed, and he didn't seem to give a damn about safety.
"He hadn't even issued the regulation hard-hats. Personally, I think he was drunk."
If this was indeed the case, Tacco could find himself in a lot of trouble. In New York, the penalties for being drunk in charge of a chorus line are notoriously severe.