Man parachutes off Turning Torso

Early on Friday morning, an Austrian extreme sports fanatic jumped from a helicopter and landed on top of Sweden’s tallest building, Malmö’s 190-meter tall apartment building, Turning Torso, switched parachutes, then leaped off the skyscraper.

The base jumper later transpired to be Austrian adventurer Felix Baumgartner, who was sponsored by drinks maker Red Bull. Police received a call a half hour later at 7 am, but according to Red Bull Baumgartner had made the jump at 6 am. By the time the police were alerted he had hopped on the back of a waiting motorcycle that sped him away to a boat upon which he vanished.

The practice of jumping with parachutes from tall buildings is known as BASE jumping (which stands for Building, Antenna, Span, Earth). Baumgartner claims to be the first person to jump from the world’s highest building (451 meters), Petronas Towers, in Malaysia, but said the Turning Torso’s complicated construction and high level of security made this jump a major challenge:

“They said that it was impossible,” the Austrian said, according to a Red Bull press release.

He said that his team had spent several days carrying out rigorous reconnaissance in Malmö.

“We waited for the wind to die down and for the weather to stabilize, particularly with the landing on the roof in mind. The landing space was very small.”

Baumgartner left his first parachute on the roof:

“They can keep it as a souvenir,” he said.

“The flight path was planned for a helicopter that was going to drop out a person for a movie being filmed,” said Lars-Olof Anderberg, police spokesman, according to Sydsvenskan. “It was not decided that the man was going to jump from the Torso.”