Europe

Two base jumpers killed in French Alps

December 23, 2013 shows the Aiguille Du Midi in Chamonix in the French Alps Image copyright AFP
Image caption There had been two similar deaths in France earlier this month

Two base jumpers have died in separate accidents in the French Alps on Sunday, bringing the death toll of the extreme sport in August to four.

Rescue workers said a man from Australia is believed to have died on impact after jumping from an 8,500 feet (2,600m) peak near Chamonix.

A French man died shortly after in a similar accident in Mont Granier.

Base jumping is an extreme sport and carries far more risk than skydiving, according to a Norwegian study.

Police told French news agency AFP that the Australian man, 33, was wearing a wingsuit at the time, was found "several hundred metres below [the peak] in a wooded area," and probably died on impact.

The French base jumper was 52, and was described as "extremely experienced".

He is believed to have been killed after hitting a rock face on his descent from Mount Granier near the popular ski resort town of Val d'Isere.

One of the rescuers said that he "managed to clear the first rock face, but not the second,".

French authorities are reported to have launched an investigation into the two accidents.

Earlier in August, two base jumpers from Switzerland and France died in similar accidents in the Alps and the French Pyrenees.

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