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Watch the record-breaking skydive
The 572 skydivers set a new world record over Bangkok
 real 28k

Thursday, 2 December, 1999, 10:57 GMT
Skydive record set in Thailand
Skydivers Skydivers celebrate their record jump

A team of 572 skydivers have set a new free fall record in the skies over the Thai capital, Bangkok.

The parachutists, who included the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Hugh Shelton, touched down in the Royal Fields, a public square close to the historic royal palace.

"It's great seeing Gen. Shelton do a nice, standup landing," said B J Worth, chief organizer of the Royal Sky Celebration-World Team '99 event.

King Bhumibol King Bhumibol is celebrating his 72nd birthday
"He's a very good skydiver and is well within his qualifications to be landing here."

The jump has been billed as a royal sky celebration marking the forthcoming 72nd birthday of Thailand's King Bhumibol.

A large crowd of onlookers roared their appreciation as the first wave of skydivers appeared over central Bangkok, their parachutes a vivid splash of colour in the city's polluted skies.

A flight of Hercules transport planes disgorged the ranks of parachutists, who came from 39 different countries.

Rescue boats



There were fears that some skydivers might be blown off course and fail to land in the square near the royal palace.

Rescue boats were on standby in the nearby Chao Phraya River. In the event only one parachutist missed the target area, touching down in a street market.

Mr Worth, a three-time world champion and veteran stuntman of seven James Bond films, confirmed that the feat will be submitted to the Guinness Book of Records.

It set a new world record for the number of skydivers taking part, beating by 57 the previous best effort, set in 1989.

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See also:
04 Nov 99 |  Asia-Pacific
Thailand celebrates river of kings
04 May 99 |  Entertainment
King And I remake in new row

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