A Sri Lankan man has died while trying to set a record for the longest time spent buried alive.
Police in Kantale - about 137 miles north of Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo - revealed today that Janaka Basnayake, 24, buried himself in a specially dug trench over the weekend, with the help of family and friends.
The trench was 10 feet deep, and Basnayake was sealed within wood and soil. Newspaper reports say that the thrill seeker was buried around 9.30am on Saturday, and was brought to the surface again at 4pm on Sunday.
But it was clear that Basnayake was unconscious and he was immediately taken to the nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Kantale hospital's Dr D.G. Costa said a post-mortem could not determine the cause of death, and further medical investigations were being conducted.
Basnayake's mother, L.D. Leelawathi, said her son had enjoyed performing unusual acts since his childhood - a liking that grew after watching movies. The Lankadeepa newspaper reported Mrs Leelawathi as saying that her son had been buried alive on two previous occasions - once for a two-and-a-half-hour period, and another time for six hours.
It was unclear whether there is an official world record for the longest time buried alive.
A British man claimed to have set a record for being buried for three months in 1998.
On April 5, 1999, American illusionist David Blaine was entombed in an underground plastic box underneath a 3-ton water-filled tank for seven days.
The Guinness Book Of World Records does not recognise burial attempts because it does not want to encourage dangerous stunts.
Police said Basnayake was a member of the Civil Defense Force, a police unit that fought in the country's 25-year civil war.
Sources say the family plans to re-bury Basnayake some time this week.