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Illusionist Freed From Icy Confines

November 30, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ After spending 62 hours encased in a 6-ton block of ice, illusionist David Blaine was freed from his Arctic confines.

Blaine emerged wobbly and incoherent Wednesday night after the ice was chipped away. He was quickly wrapped in blankets, placed on a stretcher, and whisked to a waiting ambulance. His condition was not immediately known.

The stunt was the first for Blaine since he was buried alive in a plexiglass sarcophagus in New York for seven days last year.

Blaine, 26, entered the icy tomb in front of ABC studios in Times Square on Monday wearing only pants, a wool hat, and boots. He later donned a shirt that he had wrapped around his waist.

Blaine was completely sealed within two blocks of ice with a body-shaped cocoon etched out of the center, and only had a tube from which to breathe and to drink water. A medical team monitored him for any signs of hypothermia, frostbite or blood clots.

The stunt was the focus of an hour-long ABC special called ``David Blaine: Frozen in Time.″

Thousands of people braved the pouring rain Wednesday night to catch a glimpse of Blaine as workers cut away at the ice. Many had come from the tree lighting in Rockefeller Center, which had just wrapped up a few blocks away.

``I couldn’t get in to see the tree, so I figured this was the next best thing,″ said Mike Hegeman of San Francisco. ``This guy must be pretty crazy.″

Others expressed feelings ranging from admiration to utter disbelief at the spectacle.

``This would be the last thing I would ever do, but it’s quite a thing to watch. This guy’s amazing,″ said Rafael Garcia, 20, of New York.

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