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