Helicopter stunt kills two during Duniya Vijay’s ‘Masthigudi’ shooting
- The climax shoot for 'Masthigudi' called for a leap into a lake from a helicopter.
- Of the three actors who made the jump, two vanished beneath the waves.
Known for his action-packed movies, Sandalwood actor 'Duniya' Vijay was just about wrapping up the climax for his latest film Masthigudi, which called for a stunt from a helicopter.
However, tragically, two actors who leapt from the helicopter into the Thippagondanahalli lake, on the outskirts of Bengaluru, disappeared under the waves, and all rescue operation proved futile. The lake is estimated to be between 30 to 60 feet deep.
Sources told Asianet Newsable that a diesel-engined boat was made available for the shoot. However, the boat engine refused to start. The shoot was conducted anyway with a hand-rowed tiny boat selected to pick up the men once the leapt into the water.
The two actors – Raghav Uday and Anil - along with the lead star Vijay, leapt off the helicopter into the lake at 2.48 pm. Vijay, who has a background in stunts and is a good swimmer, was the last one to jump from the chopper. He managed to swim over to the row boat. The other two actors, however, vanished in the waters and could not be located.
In 2014, Uday was awarded the ‘best villain’ prize for his role in the film Jayammana Maga. Just minutes before the climax shoot, Uday spoke to the media and said, “I will go for this shot keeping all faith in God.” It is believed that he made the comment as he could not swim very well.
He had also acted several other movies - including Airavata, Raate and Bahaddur.
The other victim, Anil, had worked in the recently released film Santhu Straight Forward.
Initial reports indicate that the shoot location lacked serious safety or rescue measures and the stunt, which was dangerous in any situation, was performed without sufficient oversight.
A criminal case has been filed against the makers of the Masthigudi film.
Thippagondanahalli lake is a restricted area as a nature preserve. Permission was given to the crew to only in the surrounding banks of the lake. However, the team was not permitted to film in the waters of the lake.
The agreement between the government and the crew did not specify safety measures as it restricted all entry into the water.
According to sources, the film crew reasoned that the restrictions did not apply to the 'aerial' shot.
Anasuya, one of the government officers responsible for the reservoir, was present when the shooting crew reached the spot. However, sources say she had left the area before the fatal stunt occurred.