An Indian man who was famous for doing stunts involving his ponytail died during a dangerous zip line attempt.
Sailendra Nath Roy has held the Guinness World Record for traveling the farthest distance on a zip line using hair since March 2011. On Sunday, the 49-year-old amateur stuntman was set to cross the River Teesta in the Indian state of West Bengal hanging from a wire by his ponytail.
By day, Roy was a police driver, but he took the day off to perform the unauthorized ponytail stunt that lead to his death. The stuntman got about halfway across the 600-foot-long wire, suspended 60 feet in the air, before his ponytail got tangled up in the wire and he couldn't move.
"Roy tried frantically to get hold of a second rope to reach the finishing point," said a local police officer. His wife and two children watched as he hung from his ponytail for at least 20 minutes. He then stopped moving; doctors later said he suffered a massive heart attack caused by a nervous breakdown.
"He was trying to scream out some instruction. But no one could follow what he was saying," said a photographer at the scene.
Last year he dragged an engine and three train cars of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway with his ponytail. After that feat, he said he planned to hang from a helicopter by his ponytail. Roy apparently kept it strong by rubbing mustard oil on it and practicing pulling heavy objects. In 2007, he roped from one building to another with his ponytail tied to a rope in front of TV cameras.
"We were very proud of his bravery," his younger brother Benoy said. "He was sure to win but destiny has taken his life and the most beloved member of our family as well." A friend said that his wife begged him to stop doing the dangerous ponytail stunts, but he promised her that the river crossing would be the final stunt. Unfortunately, it was.