Prop knife swapped, actor injured

Dec. 11, 2008 at 12:11 PM

VIENNA, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Austrian police said they were investigating after an actor injured himself on stage with a real knife that was supposed to be a dull prop.

Investigators said Daniel Hoevels' character in Friedrich Schiller's play "Mary Stuart" at Vienna's Burgtheater is supposed to commit suicide by slashing his throat on stage with a prop knife but the fake weapon was somehow replaced with a sharp knife before Hoevels went on stage, the BBC reported Thursday.

Hoevels was taken to a hospital after slashing his throat and doctors said he narrowly missed slicing an artery.

"If the actor had put a little more pressure on the knife or even struck an artery, he would probably have bled to death on the stage," said one doctor involved with Hoevels' treatment.

Police said they didn't know how the knives became switched and they hadn't ruled out foul play.

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