Kolkata magician Chanchal Lahiri is feared drowned in the Hooghly River after an underwater magic trick went wrong.
The 41-year-old magician had attempted to perform a magic trick where he will be lowered into a water body in a cage and he will get out of it and swim back to the shore. This trick was made famous by escape artist Houdini almost 100 years back.
Chanchal Lahiri, whose stage name is Mandrake, had performed the magic trick six years ago and wanted to repeat it. In magic trick happened on Sunday afternoon at 12:35 pm, near pillar 28 of the Howrah Bridge, reported Times of India.
There are many conflicting reports of how the incident took place with some claiming that he jumped directly into the water while some saying that he was lowered in the cage into the river. Lahiri, with his limbs tied and in a cage, was to be lowered into the water by a crane. His spectators were assembled on a boat, on the bridge and on the shore.
Lahiri went in the water but he never came back up. Some people claimed to have seen someone struggling and asking for help in the middle of the river.
"The North Port police was informed and a team of divers from the disaster management group joined the rescue operation. Till late evening, Lahiri's body was yet to be recovered," DC (Port) Syed Waquar Raza, was quoted as saying by TOI.
He added, "Lahiri is a resident of the southern suburbs of Kolkata. He had sought permission from both Kolkata Police and the Kolkata Port Trust. He had clearly mentioned the act was to happen on a boat or vessel and there was no connection with water. Hence, we allowed him permission. However, he did vaguely mention an 'extra act', which he did not clarify. We are investigating."
The last time Lahiri performed the magic trick, it did not go well with his audience who claimed that they saw right through him and that he escaped through a false door in the cage. He was assaulted by the spectators because they felt cheated.