Authorities in India believe the stuntman who went missing after being lowered into a river while tied up with chains and ropes in a Houdini-inspired stunt is feared drowned.
40-year-old Chanchal Lahiri, known by his stage name ‘Jadugar Mandrake‘ (Wizard Mandrake), was lowered into the river by a crane on Sunday as family members, media and police watched on.
Before his trick, he said: ‘If I can free myself it will be magic, if I cannot it will be tragic.’ But the 40-year-old failed to emerge from the water, sparking an immediate search by authorities.
Rescue workers have been scouring the fast-flowing murky waters since Sunday but he is yet to be found, said Syed Waquar Raza of the river traffic police.
‘We fear he drowned in the river,’ he said.
21 years ago, Lahiri successfully pulled off a similar stunt at the same venue. He was locked inside a bulletproof glass box and tied with a chain.
During the stunt, he was dropped from Howrah bridge, but managed to come out in seconds, according to reports.
‘I was inside a bulletproof glass box tied with chain and locks and dropped down from Howrah bridge. Then I came out within 29 seconds,’ he told AFP.
When Lahiri tried another stunt at the river in 2013, he was assaulted by onlookers who saw him escape from a locked cage via a door that was clearly visible, Daily Mail reported.
According to the publication, he was beaten and punched and his long flowing golden-brown wig was pulled off by the crowd.