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London -- A British Army soldier dressed as Santa Claus was left dangling inside a London mall after a costume malfunction.

Steve Chessell was meant to turn on the lights at Reading's Broad Street shopping center after rappelling from the roof, but ended up caught mid-air by his beard for over 30 minutes.

Rescuers eventually were able to cut his beard out of the rope and Chessell finally made it into the crowd.

Rappelling and Santas may not be an ideal mix: a very similar incident played out last year in Florida.


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