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British tourist, 34, dies in base jumping accident in France
24 March 2022, 13:45
A British tourist has died in a base jumping accident in the southeast of France.
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The 34-year-old was on a five-day trip to the Isère department and Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region when he suffered the fatal accident.
According to local media, he started base jumping from the Bournillon cliff, in the Bourne gorges, on Tuesday afternoon.
The man, from Newnham, West Northamptonshire, was holidaying with five friends who sounded the alarm when they saw that his parachute wouldn't open.
The soldiers of the high mountain gendarmerie platoon (PGHM) of Isère attended the scene shortly before 7pm.
Rescuers found the victim below the cliff in cardio-respiratory arrest.
He was then airlifted in a critical condition to Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Grenoble Alpes where he died from his injuries.
It is not yet known whether the accident was a result of technical failure or human error.
A police spokesman said: "We are investigating to find out the cause of this accident. It appears that the man had possibly opened his parachute and then crashed into a cliff. But at present we don't know exactly what happened."
Base jumping is the recreational sport of jumping from fixed objects, using a parachute to descend safely to the ground.
Base jumpers have just one parachute, while skydivers have two - the main canopy and a backup reserve in case the first malfunctions.
They are also closer to the ground upon exit than skydivers.