Base jumpers have been leaping from the 28th floor of the Lignon towers in Vernier near Geneva, Switzerland. The buildings, built in the 1960s and 70s house around 6,000 people or about 1 in 6 of Vernier’s residents. The development, covering around 28 hectares, includes a school and medical centre.
The film below taken by one resident and published by Tribune de Genève on YouTube shows someone jumping off the building, a practice which has become increasingly popular since last year. Residents of the towers are becoming concerned. Talking to Tribune de Genève one said “It’s worrying. People walk around here on their way home, there is a playground for children, and no one wants to see someone squash themselves.”
In Switzerland there are no laws to stop the practice. If jumpers pack up their equipment and run off they risk little under Swiss law. Last year one was traced using his car’s registration number. He was charged with trespassing and received a warning. Tower residents say they feel powerless.
Base jumping is extremely dangerous, especially when jumping from only 80 metres. One base jumper interviewed by Tribune de Genève said experience is critical. At a height of 80 metres the jumper only has around 15 seconds to react.