SEOUL -- Two Russian extreme sportsmen using ram-air parachutes jumped off high-rise buildings in the southern port city of Busan in an aerial stunt called "BASE jumping" that prompted police to launch an investigation on complaints from surprised residents.
BASE jumping is regarded as a fringe extreme sport of jumping off fixed objects. A BASE jumper uses a parachute to safely land on the ground. However, the fatality rate of BASE jumping is much higher than that of skydiving due to low altitudes and obstacles.
The police agency in Busan said in a statement on Tuesday that an investigation was launched to identify two men who jumped off a Busan hotel on Sunday. The daredevils are suspected of having carried out additional BASE jumping in other locations in Busan. Residents said the two men had glided using parachutes at 1:30 p.m. (0430 GMT) on Sunday.
Video footage uploaded onto a YouTube channel operated by Russian BASE jumpers showed two men jumping off a high-rise building in Busan.
South Korea is a place favored by foreign extreme sportsmen to test their skills. In 2016, Russian photographer Vitaliy Raskalov, also known as the "Urban Explorer", and his fellow Vadim Makhorov, a Ukrainian photographer, surprised everyone by uploading a photograph of himself standing on the struts of Seoul's iconic 610-meter-tall Lotte Tower.
In 2018, French urban climber Alain Robert, known as "Spider-Man" for his daredevil acts of scaling global high-rise landmarks barehanded, was arrested for his illegal challenge to scale Lotte Tower. Robert had to give up his challenge at the 76th story of the 123-story landmark tower hulking over Seoul when firefighters and Lotte officials came down from the roof riding a suspended stage for building management.
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