Man Dies Trying To Set Mark For Being Buried Alive

Published March 5, 2012 11:09AM (EST)

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan police say a man has died while trying to set a world record for the longest time spent buried alive.

Police said Monday that 24-year-old Janaka Basnayake buried himself over the weekend with the help of family and friends in a trench sealed with wood and soil in the town of Kantale, about 137 miles (220 kilometers) north of Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo. A local newspaper reported that the trench was 10 feet (3 meters) deep.

Basnayake was buried at around 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Police said that when he was brought to the surface at 4 p.m., he was unconscious and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Doctors were not immediately able to determine how Basnayake died.

It is unclear whether there is an official world record for the longest time buried alive.

By Salon Staff

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