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American base jumper dies in Bernese Oberland

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Base jumpers at Lauterbrunnen. Photo: AFP/File
08:49 CEST+02:00
A 39-year-old American man died on Thursday in a base jumping accident in the Bernese Oberland, police said.

The man suffered fatal injuries after jumping off a cliff at around 11.30am from a spot known to base jumpers as Melkstuhl at Stechelberg in the municipality of Lauterbrunnen, Bern cantonal police said.

The victim was in the company of four other colleagues, police said.

He was the fourth person to jump but for an undetermined reason he crashed into a cliff before falling.

Emergency rescue workers from Air Glaciers who arrived at the scene by helicopter found the man dead upon their arrival, police said.

Officers from the cantonal force have opened an investigation to clarify the circumstances of the case.

 The accident was the latest in a series of base jumping fatalities in Switzerland.

The extreme sport involves jumping from a cliff or fixed structure using a parachute that is deployed partway through the descent.

Lauterbrunnen, near the ski resort of Wengen, is one of the most popular spots for base jumping in Switzerland.  

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