Police are investigating the gruesome death of a 23-year-old man who accidentally strangled himself whilst playing Judas in an Easter passion play.

Horrified spectators tried to revive him after he slipped off a plinth which was supporting his weight as he prepared to be hang himself during the Crucifixion scene, according to Daily Mail.

Despite their efforts and resuscitation attempts he died on the way to hospital.

The tragedy happened in the district of Barranquillas in Tancítaro, Mexico where the final hours of Christ were being recreated in the play known as the "Viacrucis de Jesús".

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According to witnesses, the young man had put a rope around his neck and then around a tree to simulate being hung. But he slipped off his support and was left dangling in thin air.

The crowd realised after a while that he was not breathing and rushed to his aid. He died of asphxiation.

The victim was taken to a nearby clinic in a van which drove past a Civil Protection ambulance on the journey.

The crew was flagged down and tried to revive him but without success.

A full investigation is now underway. Police believe it was simply an unfortunate accident and have discarded foul play or suicide.