Witnesses think soap star’s drowning part of the show; slow to help

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Brazilian authorities say a well-known actor has drowned in a river where the crew had recorded scenes for a popular soap opera.

Authorities say Domingos Montagner never emerged from a swim Thursday afternoon in the Sao Francisco River in Caninde, a small town in the northeastern state of Sergipe.

According to the BBC, witnesses thought the incident was all part of the show so the response was slow.

Jose Aparecido Cardoso is director of the state Legal Medical Institute. He told the G1 news portal Friday that Montagner’s body was found 60 feet (18 meters) below the surface and 1,000 feet (320 meters) from where he was last seen.

The 54-year-old Montagner starred in the “Velho Chico” soap opera as a farmer who often had to fight off gunmen. Globo TV produces the series and says he crew had been shooting in the area.

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