A magician in Kolkata who tried to recreate Harry Houdini’s trick by jumping into the Hooghly river, a tributary of Ganga river, in shackles on Sunday is feared dead. Chanchal Lahiri entered the river near the Millenium Park area and disappeared under pillar No 28 of the Howrah Bridge, PTI reported.
The Kolkata Police, along with officers of the disaster management group, searched for Lahiri on Sunday. “We tried to spot him, but it seems the stream has swept him away,” an unidentified senior police officer said. “Our divers dived deep, but could not locate him,” a senior police said. The officer said the search operation was temporarily halted as it grew dark and would resume on Monday
The police said that Lahiri had taken permission to perform stunts, but he had no proper security measures considering the stunt was very difficult.
The stunt involved Lahiri being blindfolded, and his hands and legs tied up. A crane would then pick him up and lower him into the water. The magic trick would involve Lahiri untying himself and emerging from the water on his own.
Jayant Shaw, a photographer with a local newspaper, told BBC he was present when Lahiri attempted the trick. He said he spoke with the magician before the incident. “I asked him why he risked his life for magic,” Shaw said. “He [Lahiri] smiled and said, ‘If I do it right, it’s magic. If I make a mistake, it becomes tragic’.”
Lahiri had dived into the Ganga inside a box 20 years ago for another stunt, BBC reported.