Base jumper falls to his death near Grand Canyon


The accident happened near the Grand Canyon when the jumper's parachute failed to deploy.

A Norwegian base jumper plummeted about 1,000 feet to his death near the Grand Canyon, in northern Arizona, when his parachute failed to open after he hit a vertical cliff and spiraled out of control.

Reuters reported Eiliv Ruud, 37, was killed on Tuesday as his two friends, also base jumpers, watched on, the Coconino County Sheriff's Office said. 

According to authorities the group had previously visited the area, which is a popular spot for base jumpers.

"Mr. Ruud was the first one to jump, and the other two watched. When he had fallen a distance of about 500 feet, it appeared that a gust of wind blew him against the canyon wall," said sheriff's spokesman Gerry Blair.

Blair said that when he hit the cliff, the contact "pretty much caused him to spiral down the rest" of the way.

The London Telegraph said BASE jumping (an acronym for buildings, antennas, spans and earth) is an activity in which participants leap off tall, static objects and use a parachute to break their fall.