A daredevil best known for setting the world record for longest distance traveled on a zip wire by hair died yesterday while attempting to recreate the stunt over the River Teesta in the east Indian state of West Bengal.
(caution: video gets LOUD)
Eyewitnesses say Sailendra Nath Roy, 48, made it about halfway across the 600-foot wire when his ponytail apparently became entangled in the wheeler, leaving him dangling some 70 feet above the river while spectators watched helplessly.
"He was desperately trying to move forward," said photographer Balai Sutradhar. "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."
Because the stunt was performed illegally and Roy had no emergency personnel standing by to assist him, it took another 45 minutes before police were finally able to bring him down.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital when doctors pronounced him dead of an apparent heart attack.
According to a friend, Roy promised his wife this would be his final stunt.
"We were proud of his bravery," Roy's brother Benoy told AFP. "He was sure to win but destiny has taken his life and the most beloved member of our family as well."
[photo via AP, video via YouTube]