An Indian wizard who was missing after he was tied down in a Houdini-inspired stunt tied to chains and ropes in a river should have drowned, the police said on Monday. Chanchal Lahiri, known by his stage name "Jadugar Mandrake" (Wizard Mandrake), was lowered into the river in Calcutta on Sunday in a yellow and red costume.
But the 40-year-old, his legs and his horror of the audience, including his family and his teammates, failed hard on the body and did not emerge from the water. Rescue workers have been searching the fast-flowing cloudy water since Sunday, but he has not been found yet, said Syed Waquar Raza of the river traffic police to AFP.
"We're afraid he drowned in the river," he said. Lahiri previously told AFP that he had successfully completed a similar stunt at the same venue in the eastern city 21 years ago.
"I was in a bullet-proof glass box with chain and locks and fell off the Howrah Bridge, and then I came out within 29 seconds."
He admitted that this time it would be difficult to break free. "If I can open it, it will be magical, but if I can not, it will be tragic," he said.
Jayanta Shaw, a local newspaper photographer, saw Lahiri try it. He told the BBC that he had talked to him before the magician started his act.
"I asked him why he risked his life for magic," Shaw said. "He smiled and said," If I'm doing it right, it's magic. If I make a mistake, it will be tragic.
The magician told him he wanted to "revive the interest in magic.
Lahiri attempted another stunt by the river in 2013, and was watched by spectators who saw him escape from a locked cage through a highly visible door.
He was beaten and beaten, and his long flowing golden wig was peeled off
Nearly a decade earlier, he said he would run on the river, but had to dare to retreat hastily when the deed went awry.
Harry Houdini was a Hungarian-born American stuntman who became a sensation was in the early 20th century with daredevil feats, including the escape from a box that was lowered in New York in 1912 in the East River.