- Title: HUNGARY: ESCAPE ARTIST EMERGES FROM CONCRETE BLOCK LOWERED INTO DANUBE.
- Date: 1st September 2004
- Summary: (EU) BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (AUGUST 31, 2004) (REUTERS) MERLINI GETTING OUT OF CAR TRUCK OPENED WITH CEMENT VARIOUS OF GLASS AQUARIUM ASSEMBLED VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WATCHING MERLINI PUT INTO CAGE VARIOUS OF CEMENT POURED INTO CAGE CAGE FILLED UP WITH CEMENT AND WATERED SOUNDBITE (Hungarian) OF DAVID MERLINI SAYING: "It is a little bit stifling, but I am still in one piece at the moment. the state of the concrete is acceptable and the temperature is quite pleasant, about 19 degrees but it is starting to warm up now, I hope I will be able to get out. At the moment at every breath I take my lungs are pushed back in, so my breathing is only about 70% of normal." SOUNDBITE (in English) FRIEND PRINCE OF ALBANY (SCOTLAND) SAYING: "I think it's crazy. I've just been told that during one of his tests he almost lost his life. So this stunt is quite drastic but it's not unlike him, when David does something it's always extravaganza, stupendous, but this is dangerous, don't think it isn't, it's extremely dangerous." CLOSE UP OF MERLINI'S EYES (L!1) BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (AUGUST 31, 2004) (REUTERS) CRANE (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) DAVID MERLINI SAYING: " I'm fine considering the circumstances. It's about 70 degrees centigrade inside. You just have to distance yourself and think of something else like the holiday I will take after this production. There is no going back now, too many people, too much infrastructure to go back now. This will be the fruit of the work of two and a half years". VARIOUS OF CRANE BEING LOWERED INTO RIVER DANUBE CAGE CONTAINING MERLINI BOBBING ON WATER FIREWORKS
- Embargoed: 16th September 2004 13:00
- Location: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
- Country: Hungary
- Topics: Quirky,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVADHVR25JZW2SWBS7H0JDHFE8E9
- Story Text: Escape from a block of concrete in the River Danube by stuntman.
David Merlini, the man dubbed Hungary's Houdini, was encased in a four tonne concrete block and lowered by crane into the Danube river from Budapest's chain bridge on Tuesday.
He described it as his most fightening nightmare.
Merlini was lowered into a steel reinforced glass aquarium which was then filled up to his neck with four metric tons of liquid cement.
As the concrete solidified over the next 10 hours, visitors were invited to put their handprints on the drying concrete.
"It is a little bit stifling, but I am still in one piece at the moment. the state of the concrete is acceptable and the temperature is quite pleasant, about 19 degrees but it is starting to warm up now, I hope I will be able to get out. At the moment at every breath I take my lungs are pushed back in, so my breathing is only about 70% of normal", Merlini said after the cement was poured.
Finally as darkness fell over the city Merlini was lowered in his cage into the River Danube.
But within 15 minutes he was out of the block, although few people actually witnessed him getting free. Merlini has sought to emulate the American stuntman Harry Houdini, spending 33 hours frozen in a straight jacket on one occasion and welded in a steel coffin at the bottom of the Danube on another.
He has said Tuesday's stunt was aimed at promoting the image of Hungary as a new member of the European Union after it joined in May.
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