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Indian Magician's Houdini-Inspired Escape Attempt Turns Tragic

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By Tim Binnall

A prominent magician in India perished over the weekend when his attempt to replicate a famous escape trick by Harry Houdini went horribly awry. Chanchal Lahiri was reportedly lowered into the Hooghly river while wrapped in a combination of rope and chain that had been secured with six locks. The performer's plan, of course, had been to astound the crowd of onlookers by escaping the perilous predicament. However, when he failed to emerge from the water after about ten minutes, spectators soon realized that something was amiss.

A subsequent search of the river ultimately led to the discovery of Lahiri's body on Monday. According to authorities, the magician had been granted permission for the performance by area police, but never specified that he intended to do such a dangerous stunt. And, in an eerie bit of foreshadowing, a local media outlet revealed that, prior to the trick, they asked Lahiri "why he risked his life for magic." Chillingly, the performer replied, "if I do it right, it's magic. If I make a mistake, it becomes tragic."


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