2 stuntmen drown after jumping into lake for Indian movie

Associated Press

NEW DELHI (AP) — Two stuntmen who did not know how to swim drowned after they jumped from a helicopter into a lake in southern India during the filming of a movie, police said Tuesday.

The crew was shooting the climax of the film Monday when Raghav Uday and Anil Verma jumped as part of an action sequence. Police superintendent Chandra Gupta said the two stuntmen did not know how to swim and were not wearing life vests, and that a motorboat that was supposed to rush to the scene and rescue them was found to be not working.

A video of the scene showed the two stuntmen landing in the water and thrashing around for a few seconds before disappearing from view. Local fishermen in small boats rowed to the middle of the lake but found no trace of the two men.

One of Kannada cinema's top actors, Duniya Vijay, also jumped into the water with the stuntmen, but managed to swim and was later rescued by a fisherman. The Kannada language is spoken in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, which has a thriving film industry.

A Kannada television channel broadcast an interview with one of the stuntmen in which he said he was scared of performing the jump because he had never done such a stunt before.

Police have registered a case of criminal negligence against the film's director and producers, Gupta said.