French base jumper dies after crashing into tree

French base jumper dies after crashing into tree
More than 35 people have died base-jumping in Lauterbrunnen. Photo: Caroline Bishop
A French base-jumper died near Lauterbrunnen in the Bernese Oberland on Wednesday afternoon after crash-landing into a tree, Bern cantonal police confirmed on Thursday.

According to initial investigations the Frenchman, 42, jumped from a popular base-jumping take-off point called the ‘Low Ultimate’ at Mürrenfluh.

For reasons unknown he became unstable in the air and was unable to open his parachute.

He subsequently crashed into a tree on a section of cliff.

Members of the Swiss Alpine Club and a medical team from helicopter service Air Glaciers were dispatched in the rescue effort.

With its vertical cliffs, the Lauterbrunnen area attracts base-jumpers from all over the world.

However, the sport – which, unlike sky diving, involves jumping from a fixed point such as a cliff, bridge or building – carries high risks.

More than 35 people have died in Lauterbrunnen as a result of base-jumping accidents.

In March a 35-year-old Swiss woman died at the same spot after experiencing difficulties in the air.

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