Three jumpers die in Swiss Alps

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iol pic wld swiss alps AFP A helicopter flies above to the Jungfrau mountain massif 12 July 2007 heading to the air rescue base of Lauterbrunnen in the Bernese Oberland region, central Switzerland. Picture: FABRICE COFFRINI


Vienna - A Swiss base jumper crashed against a cliff and died, making her the third extreme jumper who lost her life in the mountains of Switzerland in the last few days, police said on Monday.

After the 35-year-old woman plunged down a cliff in free-fall near Lauterbrunnen on Sunday, her parachute opened as planned, but she hit the rock for unknown reasons and was found dead at the bottom.

On Saturday, two men from New Zealand and France died and a third man was seriously injured in nearby Luetschental when they jumped out of a helicopter wearing wing-suits, which allow extreme athletes to glide towards the ground.

The men crashed into a mountain slope, the canton's police said.

Rock cliffs in the canton of Bern are hundreds of metres high, making them popular with extreme jumpers.

Eight jumpers died last year in the Swiss Alps, and one lost his life in February, according to the Swiss news agency sda. - Sapa-dpa

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