KOLKATA, India (AFP) - A daredevil Indian who held the Guinness World Record for covering the longest distance on a zip-line while hanging by his hair has died while performing a stunt, officials said Monday.
Mr Sailendra Nath Roy, a 49-year-old police officer, was attempting to cross the turbulent River Teesta on Sunday in the state of West Bengal on a 180-metre wire above the water.
After attaching his shoulder-length hair to a pulley on the wire, Mr Roy had completed about half of the distance but he then became entangled and found himself unable to move, an AFP photographer at the scene said.
Hundreds of spectators initially cheered him on, but then began screaming in horror when they saw Roy making increasingly desperate attempts to move forward.
"Roy tried frantically to get hold of a second rope to reach the finishing point," senior local police officer K. Jayaraman told AFP.
After about 20 minutes, he became motionless and was eventually rescued by local people. No ambulance or a doctor was present during the performance, which was watched by his family.
After being admitted to hospital in Siliguri, 450 km away, he was declared dead by doctors of a suspected heart attack.
A post-mortem is expected later on Monday.
Mr Roy had achieved the Guinness World Record after covering 82.5 metres on a zip wire while attached by his hair in 2011 at the Neemrana Fort, a heritage hotel in the desert state of Rajasthan.
Last year he used his hair to drag an engine and four coaches of the heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
Mr Roy's younger brother Benoy, who was witnessing his brother's stunt for the first time, told AFP: "We were proud of his bravery. He was sure to win but destiny has taken his life and the most beloved member of our family as well."