Wingsuit jumper plunges to his death in French Alps

An Italian man was found dead on Sunday on Mont Blanc in the French Alps after attempting a wingsuit jump, one of the most dangerous extreme sports, French mountain rescue services said.

Wingsuit jumper plunges to his death in French Alps
File photo: AFP

The 33-year-old was reported missing on Saturday and found at an altitude of 2,000 metres after several hours of search efforts.

The victim, who was not identified, had informed police he planned a wingsuit jump on Wednesday on Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps.

He jumped off at 3,800 metres from the Aiguille du Midi peak, part of the Mont Blanc massif, on Wednesday and hit the ground in the late morning, a police spokesman in the nearby town of Chamonix told AFP.

“But no one was immediately concerned as he was jumping alone”.

Mountain rescue services were initially unable to find him Saturday evening after searching on foot and by helicopter.

But after speaking to his friends and obtaining more details on his jump, carried out in poor light and in fog, they were able to narrow their search.

The average wingsuit jump lasts barely a minute and within eight seconds, the jumper reaches speeds of 200 kilometres (120 miles) per hour.

American daredevil Johnny Strange died in the Swiss Alps in October while also attempting a jump in a wingsuit.

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American wingsuit jumper dies in Swiss mountain accident

A 34-year-old American man died Thursday in a wingsuit jumping accident in the Swiss mountains, local police said. The cause of the fatal crash is unknown.

American wingsuit jumper dies in Swiss mountain accident
(FILE) Switzerland's Geraldine Fasnacht jumps from the top of the Brevent mountain to fly in wingsuit over the French ski resort of Chamonix on July 16, 2014. Image: AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZES

The accident happened in the Churfirsten mountains, a group of seven limestone peaks in the St Gallen region of northeast Switzerland that are popular with hikers, mountain bikers and para-gliders.

St Gallen police said in a statement that the man “jumped with his wingsuit from the Sputnik jump on the Hinterrugg” — at 2,306 metres (7,566 feet) the highest peak in the group and a well-known spot for BASE jumping. “

For reasons that are still unclear, he crashed on the flight route towards Walenstadt,” the small town below.

The man, who was not named by police, was found dead by an air rescue crew.

Police said they were now investigating the cause of the crash.