Sri Lankan man dies trying to win burial-alive record

Janaka Basnayake Police said that Mr Basnayake was a member of a police unit that fought in Sri Lanka's 25-year civil war

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A Sri Lankan man has died while trying to break an informal local record for the longest time spent being buried alive, police say.

Janaka Basnayake, 24, allegedly buried himself with the help of family and friends in a trench sealed with wood and soil in the town of Kantale.

The government has urged the public not to attempt similar "high risk events".

Mr Basnayake went underground on Saturday morning, and was pronounced dead the same afternoon, police say.

Doctors say that a post-mortem examination has not determined the cause of death and further medical investigations are being conducted.

Local newspapers say that the trench in which Mr Basnayake was buried was 10ft (3m) deep.

His family say he was buried alive on two previous occasions - for two and a half hours and six hours respectively.

Correspondents say it is unclear whether there is an official world record for the longest time buried alive.

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