Chanchal Lahiri dies after attempting delicate trick
Chanchal Lahiri dies after attempting delicate trick/TV9 Bharatvarsh

An Indian magician, Chanchal Lahiri who was lowered into a river while shackled with the intent to recreate Harry Houdini‘s popular trick has drowned, police confirmed.

Concise News reports that 41-year-old Chanchal Lahiri, who goes by the nickname name Mandrake, was meant to escape and swim to safety but did not emerge from the Hooghly river in West Bengal state.

Advertise With Us

Those who watched him go in on Sunday alerted the police, who then launched a search operation.

His body, which washed up some 1km (0.6 miles) from the site of the incident, was identified late on Monday.

Lahiri was lowered into the river from a boat for his trick.

He was shackled with six locks and a chain as onlookers on two boats watched him.

Several people had also gathered by the shore and some stood on the landmark Howrah Bridge in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).

According to the Press Trust of India, the crowd started to panic after Lahiri did not appear after more than 10 minutes.

The magician claims he wanted to do this trick that unfortunately led to his death in order “to revive interest in magic”.

This is not the first time that Lahiri had attempted a risky underwater trick.

He was lowered into the same river inside a glass box more than 20 years ago but had managed to escape to safety.

According to Press Trust of India, Lahiri had sought permission from the Kolkata Police and Kolkata Port Trust before performing his trick.

However, he did not mention that the trick would have a “connection with water”, say police.

“He had mentioned the act was to happen in a boat or vessel… hence we allowed him permission. He vaguely mentioned an ‘extra act’ which we did not clarify,” says a police officer who was not identified. “We are investigating.”

See below video of him at the point of being lowered into the river