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Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 17:39 GMT 18:39 UK
Italian sweethearts' fatal bungee jump
An emergency worker covers the body of one of the two Italians
The couple called to ask the centre to stay open
An engaged couple have died after bungee-jumping together from a 100-metre (300-foot) high bridge spanning a river gorge in central Italy.

They jumped off together in each other's arms and then this happened. It's terrible

Lorenzo Illuminati
Site manager
Alberto Galletti, a 25-year-old paratrooper, and Tiziana Accora, a 26-year-old student, were killed on Wednesday night near the town of Polino 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Rome, reports say.

The manager of the jump centre, Lorenzo Illuminati, said the couple had called him just after closing time, begging for a chance to jump and have it videotaped.

The video suggested clips holding the bungee to the bridge gave way, he told state television.

Harness problem

Videos are routinely recorded by staff to be presented as souvenirs to clients after their jump.

"I had actually closed when they called. They begged me to stay open so I waited for them. They jumped off together in each other's arms and then this happened. It's terrible," Mr Illuminati said.

"Just an hour earlier another couple jumped safely using the same elastic band and clips."

A local police spokesman on Thursday said: "At the moment the investigation is focusing on the safety harness that was being worn by the couple and the clips that secure it to the bridge.

"The cord was found intact and before the couple a man of 90kg jumped off the bridge," he said.

The deaths are reported to have been the first at the site.

It has been closed while police are investigating.

See also:

20 Jul 01 | Media reports
Bungee jumpers banned from Polish viaducts
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