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Friday, July 3, 1998 Published at 14:10 GMT 15:10 UK

World: South Asia

World's tallest man dies

The world's tallest man, Mohammad Alam Channa, has died from kidney failure in the United States.

The 42-year-old farmer from Pakistan, described as the world's tallest man in the current edition of the Guinness Book of Records, measured 2.31 metres (more than seven feet seven inches).

[ image: Channa's height elevated him to celebrity status]
Channa's height elevated him to celebrity status
BBC correspondent Alastair Lawson said Mr Channa was treated as a novelty throughout his adult life in Pakistan.

"Everywhere he went in his home province of Sindh, he was followed by huge crowds," he said.

"Although he sometimes enjoyed the public interest, Mr Channa was occasionally irritated at being constantly treated as a curiosity.

"He complained that his celebrity status made it impossible for him to go anywhere in public without being pursued by large throngs of people."

His height also attracted the attention of the provincial government, which paid for him to have a specially-adapted car because Mr Channa found it too difficult to travel on public transport.

Mr Channa, who suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure, was often in ill health.

Three months ago he received financial help to go to America for treatment for numerous ailments, including kidney failure.

But he fell into a coma in New York in June, and died in hospital before doctors were able to operate on him.

He is survived by a wife and an eight-year-old son.

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