PARIS: A hang-gliding instructor mysteriously fell out of his two-seater aircraft and plunged to his death, leaving his shocked student to land alone, in one of five deaths of extreme sports enthusiasts in the French Alps at the weekend.
A wingsuit jumper, two rock climbers, and a paraglider were the other four French national victims in the series of deaths that came as holidaymakers flocked to the mountain range.
The fatal accidents began on Saturday around midday, when the 49-year-old veteran hang-gliding instructor was giving a lesson to a student near Lake Annecy, in Haute-Savoie. The pair were nearing a landing strip when the instructor, for reasons that have not yet been established, fell out of the aircraft and plunged 150 feet to the ground.
The student, who emerged unscathed from the incident, managed to land the hang-glider alone and called emergency services. But medics were unable to help the instructor, who had died from injuries sustained in the fall.
Police have begun an investigation into the incident, but there has been no suggestion of foul play.