(CNN)An Italian actor is in a coma after he was strangled when the hanging scene he was performing went wrong, according to Italian police. Raphael Schumacher, 27, was performing in an experimental production when a member of the audience noticed that the rope around his neck was so tight it was actually killing him. Schumacher was wearing a covering on his head, but the spectator -- a female medical graduate -- saw him trembling and realized something was wrong. She ran to him, loosened the noose, and with the help of another spectator, lowered him to the ground. He was taken to hospital where he is now fighting for his life. Police have launched an investigation into the incident and say that investigators are verifying if proper safety procedures were in place.