WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Magician Chanchal Lahiri on Sunday attempted a Harry Houdini-inspired escape trick in the Hooghly River in Kolkata, India.
- Lahiri was unable to emerge after 30mins he was put into the water and was feared dead by the police.
- His body was found on Monday over a mile away from where he initially attempted the trick.
The body found in the Hooghly River in Kolkata, India has been identified as that of magician Chanchal Lahiri by his brother.
According to Police deputy commissioner Syed Waquar Raza, Port Division of Kolkata, Lahiri’s body was found Monday evening, over a mile away from where Lahiri attempted his escape trick and entered the water.
Also known as “Jadugar Mandrake,” his stage name, Lahiri was feared dead after failing to emerge from the river on Sunday when he did a trick inspired by Harry Houdini. He was chained up and submerged into the river near Kolkata’s Howrah Bridge, CNN reported on Monday.
After being underwater for about 30 minutes and Lahiri still did not reappear after a crane lowered him into the water, authorities were then alerted. “We fear he drowned in the river,” Raza told the Agence France Presse.
Monday, the BBC reported a body “resembling” Lahiri had been found but had not yet been identified.
In a video from the BBC, the magician explained the escape trick he was about to do.
“The magic we are going to do today is so risky,” Lahiri said in the video. “First, my hands will be tied behind my back with a rope. My legs will also be bound by thick rope. My whole body will be in chains,” he continued. “There will be six locks. I will be picked up by a crane in that condition and lowered into the water.”
“If I can open it up then it will be magic, but if I can’t it will be tragic,” Lahiri said before entering the water, according to the AFP. It was said that he was doing the trick to “revive interest in magic.”
According to AFP reports Lahiri did a similar illusion in 2013, escaping from a locked cage submerged in the river. The audience at the time ended up attacking him after he escaped because they saw the door he had used to free himself.
One of Houdini’s most famous magic tricks was escaping. The first time he performed the trick was in 1912 when he escaped successfully while being handcuffed inside a box dumped into New York City’s East River. Houdini emerged from the water after two and a half minutes, Gizmodo reported.
The police launched an investigation to find the exact cause of Lahiri’s accident, according to CNN.