Two students fined for trying to rappel down one floor from Taipei 101 observation deck

Observation platform on 91st floor about 400 m above the ground

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Taipei 101.

Taipei 101. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Two university students were fined NT$2,000 (US$65) each for trying to climb down one floor by a rope from the Taipei 101 observation deck last week, reports said Friday.

The two 19-year-old men told police they wanted to take pictures of the Taipei view by night, the Apple Daily reported.

The students, a United States citizen named Lee (李) and a Taiwanese national surnamed Huang (黃), bought tickets for the elevator to the observation deck on July 31 after 9 p.m.

After they reached the outdoor platform, which is situated on the 91st floor 400 meters above ground level, they watched until the security guard had his back turned before producing a rope and gloves and attempting the climb down to a protruding corner on the 90th floor, the Apple Daily reported.

By the time the guard saw something was wrong, Lee had already reached the lower floor and remained undetected until he showed up on surveillance camera images.

Taipei 101 management reported the incident to police, who fined the students for disruption of the social order. Both were scheduled to return to the U.S. this week to continue their studies, the Apple Daily reported.

Taipei 101 management said it was considering extra measures, such as adding one guard and closing off the observation platform to the public earlier in the evening.

In 2007, Austria’s Felix Baumgartner parachuted from the 91st floor of the 509-meter-tall building in what reportedly was a promotional stunt on behalf of the Red Bull energy drink, but he left Taiwan before police could arrest or fine him.