In a theatrical stunt gone wrong, Italian actor Raphael Schumacher has been declared clinically dead after a performance involving a staged hanging went wrong.

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According to CNN, Schumacher, 27, was performing in an experimental theater piece in Pisa, Italy. His head was covered, but one of the audience members, a medical graduate, noticed that his trembling was all too real. Running on stage, she loosened the noose and, aided by another audience member, lowered him to the stage floor.

He was taken to the hospital, and has since been declared clinically dead.

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Police have launched an investigation into manslaughter.