Indian magician feared dead after Harry Houdini-style stunt

Chanchal Lahiri was tied up with steel chains and rope before being lowered into the Hooghly river in West Bengal.
Chanchal Lahiri was tied up with steel chains and rope before being lowered into the Hooghly river in West Bengal. Photo credit: Reuters

An Indian magician is feared dead after he jumped into a river in shackles, in an attempt to recreate Harry Houdini's world-famous trick.

Chanchal Lahiri was tied up with steel chains and rope before being lowered into the Hooghly river in West Bengal, according to CNN. 

He was meant to escape and swim to the shore but didn't resurface. 

Bystanders who watched the stunt gone wrong waited for 30 minutes before sounding the alarm. 

The police launched a search operation on Monday night and a body resembling the magician was recovered, but formal identification is yet to be carried out, according to the BBC. 

Jayanta Shaw, a photographer with a local newspaper, witnessed the event. He told CNN on-duty police officers were overseeing the trick.

Lahiri had previously performed a similar stunt in the same location, where he was trapped inside a bulletproof glass box and tied up with chains. 

Shaw, who watched the first trick in 1998, told CNN it looked like the magician's luck had run out. 

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