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Magician disappears in water as trick fails, feared drowned

Chanchal Lahiri was locked inside a box, which was thrown into water, searches on find him

Magician disappears in water as trick fails, feared drowned

Kolkata: A man reportedly feared drowned in Ganga while he was performing a magic show on Sunday afternoon. Extensive search operations were conducted but till Sunday night he was not traced. According to sources, Chanchal Lahiri, a resident of Hooghly, performed magic with the stage name, 'Jadukor Mandrake'. He had performed several dangerous acts earlier.

He attempted an act, which was similar to a trick performed by well-known illusionist Harry Houdini. He claimed he would locked himself up inside a box and throw it into the Ganga and within seconds he would set free himself and come out of the water.

According to the plan, on Sunday, he boarded a vessel from Fairlie Place Ghat and went towards Howrah Bridge. Around 12:35 pm, near pillar number 28, Lahiri was locked inside a box and it was pulled up by a crane and thrown into the Ganga.

However, Lahiri did not come out of the water as seconds passed and even when it was close to a minute. Panic grew within the spectators. Immediately, North Port police station, River Traffic Police and Disaster Management Group were informed. Disaster Management Group divers jumped into the water to trace Lahiri but the efforts went into vain. Despite several hours, Lahiri was not found.

Due to non-availability of sufficient light, search operation was suspended during night. Lahiri has successfully performed several dangerous acts in the past. He claimed, he freed himself from a locked cage within 29 seconds.

The greatest all Houdini's escapes was Chinese Water Torture Cell. Houdini was to escape an extraordinary contraption resembling a fish tank, which was filled with water while Houdini is placed head down. His feet were tied and the tank was covered. During his lifetime and for many years after, he was the only man to perform the escape from the water torture cell. With all its danger and difficulties, Houdini never failed in the escape.

However, he failed a similar trick in 2013 where he had locked himself up in a box and thrown it into the water.

At that time when he was performing the act, some spectators saw Lahiri coming out of the box through a concealed opening.

He was put inside a box and locked up and the box was thrown into the water and within a few seconds he emerged from the river and climbed up to the vessel.

But, when he reached the Howrah jetty, people surrounded him and alleged that he cheated the spectators and assaulted him.

In Sunday's incident, cops have asked other police stations whose jurisdiction falls adjacent to the river Ganga to keep a watch to trace Lahiri.

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