Man Dies While Trying to Set Record for Being Buried Alive

Pulled to the surface after six and a half hours underground, the man was unconscious

digging grave

A Sri Lankan daredevil died over the weekend while trying to break a world record for spending the longest time buried alive.

Janaka Basnayake, 24, had friends and family lower him into a 10-foot trench sealed with wood and soil Saturday morning. At 4 p.m., six and a half hours after he was buried, he was pulled to the surface and found unconscious, The Associated Press reported. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.

Basnayake's mother, L.D. Leelawathi told a local newspaper that her son had been buried alive twice before, once for two and a half hours, and the second time for six hours. She said her son's unusual ambitions derived from growing up watching movies.

The Guinness World Records offered condolences to the Basnayake family in a statement Monday. It added that "record attempts related to being buried alive are not authorized, monitored or adjudicated by Guinness World Records."

Still, that hasn't stopped other daredevils from trying to test their underground limits. In 1999, David Blaine was buried underground in a plastic tomb for seven days, and a year earlier a British man claims to have spent three months underground.

The feat used to be recognized by the Guiness World Records, but the organization changed gears in 1991 citing safety concerns.

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