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Body of drowned Indian magician found after Houdini-inspired stunt goes wrong

The performer had said he wanted to use the stunt to revive interest in magic.

The stunt took place in Kolkata, India.
The stunt took place in Kolkata, India.
Image: Shutterstock/Roop_Dey

Updated Jun 17th 2019, 7:38 PM

INDIAN POLICE HAVE recovered the body of a magician who went missing after being lowered into a river while tied up with chains and ropes in a Houdini-inspired stunt.

Chanchal Lahiri, known by his stage name “Jadugar Mandrake” (which means Wizard Mandrake) was lowered by winch into the river in Kolkata yesterday in a yellow and red costume.

However, the 40-year-old performer, who had his legs and arms tightly bound, failed to emerge from the water as planned. 

Rescue workers searching the river since Sunday recovered Lahiri’s body today. 

Lahiri had said beforehand that he had successfully pulled off a similar stunt 21 years ago at the same venue in the eastern city.

“I was inside a bullet proof glass box tied with chain and locks and dropped down from Howrah bridge. Then I came out within 29 seconds.” 

He had admitted that it would be difficult to free himself this time. “If I can open it up then it will be magic, but if I can’t it will be tragic,” he said before the stunt.

He also said he was undertaking the death-defying stunt to “revive interest in magic”.

When Lahiri tried another stunt at the river in 2013, he was assaulted by onlookers who saw him escape from a locked cage through a door. A decade earlier, another stunt in which he attempted to walk on water also went wrong. 

© – AFP 2019

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