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BASE Jumper's Fiery Stunt Ends Fatally

James Hickey set fire to parachute, engulfed in flames
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2015 12:13 PM CDT
BASE Jumper's Fiery Stunt Ends Fatally
A BASE jumper hangs from her parachute on supports of the Perrine Bridge on Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Twin Falls, Idaho. Days earlier a man plunged to his death after setting his chute on fire.   (Stephen Reiss/The Times-News via AP)

(Newser) – It's not exactly an auspicious time to be a BASE jumper: A 73-year-old man plunged to his death earlier this month after jumping from Idaho's Perrine Bridge, and the Twin Falls Times-News now reports that James Hickey had set his own parachute on fire as part of a stunt that went wildly wrong. The idea was to dump the flaming chute and coast to safety on a second one, but the AP notes that video of Hickey's jump shows him immediately engulfed in flames as he falls 500 feet into the Snake River. Another jumper landed safely.

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The video of Hickey's death was initially posted to YouTube, notes the Times-News, but was taken down after complaints. "We have removed," wrote the man who posted it. "It was never our intention to hurt anyone. I underestimated the power of YouTube." If jumping off a bridge sounds dangerous, the AP notes that it is: Hundreds make the jump every year, and "injuries are common." Just days after Hickey's death, a woman BASE jumper had to be rescued after her parachute got hung up on the bridge's supports, while back in March, a man died after his chute failed to open correctly. (Read more base jump stories.)

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