Austrian jumper to be banned for life from Taiwan

Authorities deem leap from Taipei 101 an illegal act, detrimental to public safety


Taiwan will ban Austrian BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner from visiting the country again after he made an unlawful jump from the Taipei 101 skyscraper on Tuesday afternoon, National Immigration Agency officials said yesterday.
NIA officials pointed out that Baumgartner, who entered Taiwan on a landing visa, violated the Immigration Act by engaging in an activity inconsistent with the purpose of his visit and being involved in an act considered by the authorities to be detrimental to Taiwan's national interests, public security, public order and the good customs of the country.
Meanwhile, Taipei police said that although Baumgartner has already left the country, they are planning to refer his case to prosecutors to bring charges against him of endangering public security. They also claimed that the management of Taipei 101 can sue him for intruding into the building and damaging the building's tiles during his jump.
Baumgartner, 38, parachuted from the 91st floor of the 509-meter building on Tuesday afternoon, landing on the rooftop car park of the neighboring Taipei World Trade Center building. He departed for Hong Kong that same day soon after the jump - a promotional event that was apparently sponsored by the energy drink manufacturer Red Bull. His parachute bore the Red Bull logo, but the company's Taiwan agent said that it was not aware of the jump in advance.
However, Baumgartner's jump on Tuesday from the tallest inhabited building in the world was videotaped from beginning to end, and the video was later posted on the Red Bull international Web site. The video showed Baumgartner evading patrolling security guards on the building's observation tower and climbing over a 3-meter-high steel barrier to stand on a ledge before leaping off. Baumgartner was shown freefalling for five seconds before the parachute opened. The video suggests that a team, rather than Baumgartner alone, was involved in the jump.
According to Baumgartner's personal Web site, he has had his eye on a leap from the world's tallest inhabited building ever since it was completed three years ago.
"After two reconnaissance missions to scout out the tower in the past year, the undisputed star of the extreme sport scene...made his spectacular leap and after a five second-long free fall opened his parachute," the Web site states.
An internationally renowned daredevil, Baumgartner has performed a number of dangerous stunts throughout his career, which earned him the nicknames of "Fearless Felix" and "God of the Skies."
His stunts include a skydive in 1999 from the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - then the world's highest skyscraper - and a jump from the statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that same year.
In 2003, he became the first person to skydive across the English Channel using a specially made fiber wing, and in 2004, he became the first person to BASE jump from the Milau Viaduct in France.
In 2006, he skydived into and then BASE jumped from the Turning Torso building in Malmo, Sweden.