Police investigate death of actor who hanged on stage
More than 600 spectators, including young children, were left shocked and distressed when they saw the body of Anthony Wheeler, 26, dangling from a prop rope at the open-air show in the scene where Judas takes his own life.
Mr Wheeler had been working at the same show at the Sani Beach hotel in the Halkidiki peninsula for the past three three summers, and was experienced at his act. He was supposed to suspend himself from a scaffold on the stage and free himself when the lights went out. It has been reported that he had failed to take the normal precaution of attaching a safety harness which could have saved his life during the performance on Sunday.
Nikos Vassiliadis, a coroner at nearby Salonika, said: "We know the death was a result of strangulation by rope. It is either an accident or a suicide, but that is for the police to decide".
He added that tests were being carried out to ascertain whether there was any physical ailment which could have caused Mr Wheeler to forget to attach the harness.
Andreas Birner, sales and marketing manager at Sani Beach, said that Mr Wheeler had a new girlfriend and did not appear to be depressed. He said: "Last year he was on his own, but this year he had a girlfriend. Her name is Nicole and she is German. Obviously she is depressed, and she has gone back to Germany.
"The coroner's report has been delayed because of the police inquiry, but we hope it will be out soon"
Dimitris Hatziyannakis, manager of Sani Beach, said: "We don't know how it happened. He had worked for us for three years. You can imagine the pandemonium when it happened. There were people screaming and crying and the other actors were terribly shocked. He was a pleasant, hard-working person and popular with his colleagues."
As the audience, many in tears, were hurriedly cleared the show's director tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate Mr Wheeler. A number of the guests, mostly from Britain and Germany, were taking part in the musical in minor roles.
Mr Wheeler, a single man, was a member of a company of around 25 performers who appeared at a number of hotels in the resort area. One hotel official said: "We have had telephone calls from England from people who had known him in the past. They are very upset to hear the news."
British Embassy officials in Athens have been in touch with Mr Wheeler's family, who live near Banbury in Oxfordshire. They are waiting for the return of his body, which would follow the presentation of the coroner's report. Charles Bird, head of the political section at the British Embassy in Athens, said: "We have extended our sympathy to the family of Mr Wheeler. We are in regular touch with the Greek officials. Officially we have been told that death is due to strangulation."
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Syrian refugee child beaten by Istanbul Burger King manager for eating customer’s leftover food
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Rob Lowe hits out at White House decision not to meet Israeli leader
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
Winston Churchill: From accusations of anti-Semitism to the blunt refusal that led to the deaths of millions
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...