Italian dies in wingsuit accident on French Alps

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The man died after attempting a wingsuit jump from the Aiguille du Midi peak on Mont Blanc. Photo: Laurent Glasson
08:18 CEST+02:00
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, mountain rescue services said.

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.

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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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