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Sailendra Nath Roy dies in India ponytail stunt

By Amitabha Bhattasali
BBC Bengali, Calcutta

image captionSailendra Nath Roy trying the stunt, moments before his death

An Indian Guinness World Record holder who attempted to cross a river suspended from a zip wire attached to his ponytail has died during the stunt.

Sailendra Nath Roy, 48, was performing the feat on the Teesta river in West Bengal when he suffered a heart attack.

Hundreds of spectators watched his last moments in horror.

In March 2011, Mr Roy was named a Guinness World Record holder for travelling the farthest distance on a zip wire using hair.

He worked as a driver for the police.

Mr Roy was trying to cross the Coronation Bridge over the Teesta river near Siliguri town suspended from a zip wire 600ft (180m) long at a height of 70ft (20m).

Hanging for 45 minutes

A large number of people had gathered on the bridge to watch the feat.

Witnesses said that Mr Roy appeared to make no progress after covering about 300ft (90m).

"He was desperately trying to move forward. He was trying to scream out some instruction. But no one could follow what he was saying. After struggling for 30 minutes he became still," said Balai Sutradhar, a photographer, who was covering the stunt.

Police said he was hanging for nearly 45 minutes before he was brought down.

Doctors at the hospital said he had suffered a "massive heart attack".

Mr Roy had arrived at the riverside on Sunday morning and set up the zip wire from the bridge with help from friends.

No permission

He was wearing a life jacket, but there were no doctors or emergency services on the spot.

Police said that Mr Roy had not got permission to do the stunt.

A friend, who preferred to remain anonymous, said: "His wife used to urge him to quit doing dangerous stunts. Mr Roy convinced her that crossing the Teesta river would be his last. Unfortunately, that became his last stunt."

In 2008, Mr Roy pulled the Darjeeling toy train with his ponytail.

And in 2007, his ponytail tied to a rope, he flew from one building to another in front of television cameras.

Related Internet Links

  • Guinness World Records

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