Man Dies Trying to Set World Record

Janaka Basnayake wanted to be person buried alive longest
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2012 12:21 PM CST

(Newser) – Janaka Basnayake's world record attempt went tragically and terrifyingly wrong Saturday: The Sri Lankan man was attempting to set the record for longest time spent buried alive, but he was pronounced dead shortly after being unearthed. Friends and family helped to bury Basnayake in a 10-foot-deep trench sealed with wood and soil around 9:30am, and he was brought to the surface, unconscious, at 4pm, the AP reports, citing local media.

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Basnayake's mother says he had twice buried himself previously, staying under for two and a half hours once and six hours another time. It is not clear whether a record for longest time buried alive officially exists. (Read more Janaka Basnayake stories.)

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