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British base-jumper dies after parachute fails to open

A British tourist has died in hospital following a base jumping accident in the south of France.

The 34-year-old, from Newnham, West Northamptonshire, was holidaying with five friends in Isère when the tragedy unfolded on Tuesday.

It’s believed he jumped from Bournillon cliff, in the Bourne Gorges, when his friends noticed his parachute hadn’t opened.

They sounded the alarm and mountain rescuers raced to the scene, finding him below the cliff in cardio-respiratory arrest.

He was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition and later died from his injuries.

It is not yet known if his death was caused by human error or the result of a technical failure.

A police spokesman said: ‘We are investigating to find out the cause of this accident.

Bourne gorges (Picture: Wikimedia Commons)
Bourne Gorges is a popular destination for thrill seekers (Picture: Wikimedia Commons)

‘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-jumpers often use ‘wing suits’ to effectively fly down a mountain after jumping off steep cliffs.

The margin for error is much smaller than skydiving as base-jumpers only have one parachute.

Skydivers have a main canopy and a backup reserve if the first malfunctions.

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