29 September 2010

Australian jumper dies in fall from Alor Setar tower, Malaysia

Malaysian rescuers and police carry the body of Australian base-jumper Marion Tantikey at the foot of Alor Setar Tower in Alor Setar, 460 kilometres north of Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia 29/9 – An Australian woman fell to her death in Malaysia when her parachute failed to open after she jumped off a tower to practice for a parachuting event, organizers said Wednesday.

Kylie Tanti Marion, 42, was performing her third jump Tuesday while practicing at the Alor Setar Tower in northern Malaysia _ the second-highest tower in the country _ when she plunged to her death, tower management said in a statement.

"I saw her struggling to pull open the parachute but her attempt failed," witness Mohamad Zaidi Zainol Abidin, who was standing nearby the scene, told The Star newspaper.

Marion, an experienced skydiver, died instantly, according to officials from Telekom Malaysia, which owns the 541-foot-high (165-meter-high) Alor Setar Tower. She was among 24 foreign and local participants preparing for the KL Tower International Jump on Oct. 7, a BASE-jumping event that began in 2000. BASE stands for the places such jumpers usually leap from: buildings, antennae, spans and earth.

The KL tower is the tallest in Malaysia and ranks 18th in the world.

Management said it had taken all safety measures and would help in any police investigation. - AP

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