Actor Tiago Klimeck was playing Judas in an Easter passion play when he accidentally hanged himself onstage and slipped into a coma as the play went on around him.
It was during a reenactment of the suicide of Judas that Klimeck’s safety vest slipped upwards and cut off his air supply. It’s believed that he hung there for some four minutes as his cast mates continued the play around him.
The 27-year-old was taken to Santa Casa de Itapeva hospital and diagnosed with cerebral hypoxia. He lingered in a coma for two weeks before doctors declared him dead and withdrew life support on Sunday.
A passion play is a kind of Medieval drama depicting the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, typically performed during Lent. Thousands of variations exist dating back to Medieval times.
The play was being performed in the town of Itarare, about 214 miles from Sau Paulo. Kilmeck and the cast had borrowed equipment from local firefighters, as they had in previous years. Klimeck was unsupervised in the preparation of the safety gear, said fire officials, because he had used it safely before.
Watch this video clip, embedded via Reuters, below: