Published: Mon, June 17, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Indian magician feared drowned as Houdini-inspired stunt goes wrong

Indian magician feared drowned as Houdini-inspired stunt goes wrong

An Indian magician is feared dead after an attempt at a magic stunt in a river went awry, according to authorities in the city of Kolkata.

He entered the river on Sunday while several onlookers, police officers and family members watched him being lowered by a crane into the water.

In 2013 a mob attacked Lahiri and accused him of cheating after he escaped from a locked cage that was lowered into the river, according to the Times of India.

Eye witnesses said that Lahiri went inside the river from Kolkata's Millenium Park, with the intention to mesmerise people with his magic but disappeared near pillar number 28 of the Howrah Bridge.

Police were called after about 10 minutes, but divers could find no sign of the magician, who has previously successfully pulled off similar water escapes, inspired by magic legend Harry Houdini's trick of jumping shackled into a river.

Many modern-day illusionists and magicians attempt the tricks of Houdini, who is regarded as one of the best stunt performers in human history.

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A crowd also gathered on the shore and on Howrah Bridge in Kolkata.

He tried another stunt on the Ganges about six years ago, but after spectators saw him escape from a door in the cage, they beat him, according to the news agency. Lahiri was also blindfolded, and his hands and legs were tied with ropes as part of the act. But it seems the stream has swept him away. "The magic that Lahiri was to perform was very risky and complicated", he asserted. "Our divers dived deep, but could not locate him", a senior police said. The magic was that he would come up from water, by untying himself on his own.

Lahiri said he wanted to perform the stunt to promote the performance of magic, which has become unpopular despite its traditional roots in the country, Shaw recounted.

Kolkata Police and Disaster Management Group, after receiving information about Lahiri's disappearance, began a search for him.

Lahiri's family members are still looking for him, hoping for his miraculous survival, reported AFP. "We didn't know that he would be going into the water".

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