Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Monday, April 12, 1999 Published at 22:30 GMT 23:30 UK

World: Americas

Magician emerges from grave

David Blaine waves to the crowd shortly before leaving the coffin

Magician David Blaine emerged on Monday smiling, albeit a little wobbly, from an underground plastic coffin he had been entombed in for seven days.

Thousands of people had visited the site on Manhattan's Upper West Side where Mr Blaine was buried in a 6-foot-deep hole in the sidewalk. He was in a cramped plastic coffin under a 3-ton water-filled tank.

The BBC's Paul Anstiss reports from New York on Blaine's Houdini feat
When the tank was lifted after almost a week, the magician sat up, smiled and addressed the crowd of hundreds of cheering spectators.

"I saw something very prophetic ... a vision of every race, every religion, every age group banding together and that made all this worthwhile," he said.

[ image: Two security guards assist Mr Blaine]
Two security guards assist Mr Blaine
He then donned a pair of sunglasses and stepped from the coffin with the aid of two security guards.

Mr Blaine's spokesman Pat Smith estimated that 75,000 people visited the site on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

After he emerged, an ambulance took him to be examined by a doctor.

Cramped quarters

He had spent the week with only about six inches of headroom and two inches on each side.

During the weeklong ordeal, he had only a buzzer to alert an emergency crew standing by. He ate nothing and drank only two to three tablespoons of water a day.

The 26-year-old magician has outdone his hero, Harry Houdini, who had planned a similar feat but died in 1926 before he could perform it.

He insisted it was not a publicity stunt but a test of will.

On Wednesday, two days after he left his plastic coffin, he will appear in a television special, "David Blaine: Magic Man."

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Internet Links

David Blaine: Magic Man fan site

Magic Man or Magic Hack?

Jonathon's World of David Blaine

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

From Business
Microsoft trial mediator appointed

Safety chief deplores crash speculation

From Entertainment
Taxman scoops a million

Violence greets Clinton visit

Bush outlines foreign policy

Boy held after US school shooting

Memorial for bonfire dead

Senate passes US budget

New constitution for Venezuela

North Korea expels US 'spy'

Hurricane Lenny abates

UN welcomes US paying dues

Chavez praises 'advanced' constitution

In pictures: Castro strikes out Chavez

WTO: arbitration in EU-Ecuador banana dispute

Colombian army chief says rebels defeated

Colombian president lambasts rebels