Italian actor declared clinically dead after botched hanging scene during play

Actor In Coma After Accidental On-Stage Hanging

Italian actor Raphael Schumacher was declared clinically dead on Thursday, days after accidentally strangling himself during the performance of a play in Pisa.

The 27-year-old performer had been in a coma since Saturday, when a hanging scene in the experimental production "Mirages" at the Teatro Lux went horribly wrong, according to CNN.

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A medical student observing the performance noticed that Schumacher was trembling during the hanging scene and intervened, removing the mask from his face and loosening the noose around his neck. He was taken to a local hospital.

See photos of Schumacher and reaction to the accident:

Italian actor Raphael Schumacher declared clinically dead after botched hanging scene during play
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Italian actor declared clinically dead after botched hanging scene during play
Italian actor Raphael Schumacher (Photo via Facebook)
Italian actor Raphael Schumacher (Photo via Facebook)
This is so incredibly sad :( RT BBC News - Theatre hanging: Raphael Schumacher declared brain dead
A very tragic & sad case for the acting world - loss of such a young talent #raphaelschumacher #RIP
@katleensyd20 @BBCWorld Such a tragic accident. Feel so sad for him, his family and friends. Been a sad year so far hasn't it?
@BBCWorld @BBCNews How sad, such an awful thing to deal with for his family & friends

On Thursday, Pisa Today reported that doctors had declared him clinically dead since he was not responding to treatment.

"We are shocked," Gabriele De Luca, the theater's art director, told the Daily Mail. "No one, not even us, understands how this happened." However, De Luca also told the Italian newspaper Il Giorno that Schumacher had altered the script to replace fake gunshots with the noose.

Local authorities have launched an investigation into the incident to insure that proper safety precautions were followed.

The performance involved spectators walking around scenes different parts of the theater, including the courtyard, where Schumacher's hanging scene took place.

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