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Daredevil Dies in Norwegian Jump

July 7, 1999

OSLO, Norway, Albania (AP) _ A Norwegian parachutist who frustrated police and entertained the public with daredevil leaps from some of the world’s tallest buildings was killed Tuesday in a jump from a cliff.

Thor Axel Kappfjell, 32, became an icon to fixed object jumpers in Norway for his leaps from the World Trade Center, the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and even the Norwegian prime minister’s office in Oslo.

Kappfjell was killed just after midnight Tuesday when he jumped off the 3,300-foot high Kjeraag cliff over the waters of Lysefjord near the city of Stavanger, about 300 miles west of Oslo.

He had been the third of a dozen jumpers planning to leap off the cliff in thick fog.

Kappfjell’s body was found near the base of the cliff, and police said his parachute had opened. Witnesses also said they heard his parachute open, and fellow jumpers told Norway’s TV-2 network that he probably hit the face of the cliff and slid down.

``His body was found by the crew of a rescue helicopter near the base of the cliff, about 100 meters (330 feet) above the ocean,″ said Rolf Ravndal, of the local sheriff’s office.

Kappfjell pled guilty in New York City in April to three counts of reckless endangerment for his leaps from the World Trade Center on March 25, the Empire State Building on Oct. 24 and the Chrysler Building on Oct. 27. He was sentenced to seven days of community service. ``I won’t bother New York anymore,″ he promised.

He had frustrated New York police by slipping past tight security at the buildings, making his jumps and then vanishing without a trace.

Kappfjell was an offshore oil worker, originally from the north Norway town of Mo i Rana. He claimed to have jumped from more than 200 buildings, towers and bridges. He was single, and said he could afford all the fines he had been assessed over the years.

Even though such jumps from Norway’s Kjeraag are legal, police have described them as reckless.

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