Entertainment & Arts

Italian actor Raphael Schumacher in coma following stage accident

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An Italian actor is in a coma after a hanging scene in a live theatrical production went wrong, resulting in his strangulation.

Raphael Schumacher was rushed to hospital at the weekend after an audience member at the production in Pisa realised something was wrong and rushed to his aid.

The 27-year-old actor was appearing in a production of a play called Mirages at the Teatro Lux.

Police have launched an investigation.

A report in the Il Giorno newspaper suggested sufficient safety procedures had not been properly put in place prior to the performance.

According to another report, one of the other actors said afterwards: "The noose should have been fake and a harness should have caught him if he fell. I cannot explain how an incident like this happened."

The audience member - believed to be a recent medical graduate - went to the aid of Schumacher, who was wearing a bag over his face, after seeing him tremble.

After loosening the noose, the performer was lowered to the ground with the assistance of another audience member.

Police reportedly sealed off the theatre and interviewed members of the cast and audience.

Schumacher has yet to regain consciousness and remains in hospital.