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Man trying to beat "buried alive" record dies during attempt

The man, who was 24 years of age, died after spending less than a day underground.
Mar 5th 2012, 2:42 PM 13,657 35

A SRI LANKAN man has died while trying to set a record for the longest time spent buried alive.

Police said Janaka Basnayake, 24, buried himself over the weekend a trench sealed with wood and soil in the town of Kantale.

It is believed family and friends helped him prepare the trench, which a local newspaper reported was 10 feet deep.

Basnayake was buried at around 9.30am Saturday and police said that when he was brought to the surface at 4pm, he was unconscious.

He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Dr DG Costa of the Kantale hospital said a post-mortem could not determine the cause of death and further medical investigations are being conducted.

Basnayake’s mother, LD Leelawathi, told the Lankadeepa newspaper her son had enjoyed performing unusual acts since his childhood.

The paper quoted her as saying that her son had been buried alive on two previous occasions — for two and a half hours and six hours respectively.

Guinness Book of World Records no longer contains a record for longest time buried alive, and does not encourage people to attempt to set a record.

It also does not adjudicate or monitor such attempts.

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In 2004, Czech magician Zdenek Zahradka spent 10 days buried alive in a coffin. However he was not entered into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Illusionist David Blaine had his attempts for holding his breath and for living in a box over the Thames rejected by Guinness.

- Additional reporting AP

Read: Baby saved from live burial after undertakers heard her cry>

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Aoife Barry


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