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Teen Plunges To Her Death While Bungee Jumping (Photos)

| by David Bonner
Bungee jumperBungee jumper

A Spanish court is hearing the case of a teenage Dutch girl who plunged to her death in a bungee jumping accident in Spain in 2015.

Vera Mol, 17, died because of a communication breakdown with her Spanish-speaking instructor, reports the Daily Mail.

One end of the bungee rope was attached to Vera, but the other end wasn't attached to anything when she leapt off the bridge of Cabezon de la Sal in Cantabria, Spain.

Her instructor told her "no jump," but she thought he had said "now jump," so she did.

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The instructor, who has not been named, was accused in court of causing Vera's death. Judges in the court of Cantabria, northern Spain, say the instructor should have checked for ID to make sure Vera was at least 18 years old.

His command of English was also called into question, as he was accused of failing to use the correct wording "don't jump," instead of "now jump."

A spokesman from Flowtrack, the bungee jumping company which employed the instructor, admitted that Veras death was caused by a miscommunication of instructions.

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It was also noted in court that the bridge had not been authorized for bungee jumping under Spanish regulations.

One of the most notorious bungee jumping deaths involved the 1997 Super Bowl. Laura Patterson, 43, was scheduled to perform at halftime, but was killed a few days before the game while practicing her routine at the stadium in New Orleans. "Patterson apparently hit her head on the floor of the Superdome," notes the American Council on Science and Health, citing the Los Angeles Times.

Statistically-speaking, however, bungee jumping is very safe.  According to the National Center for Health Statistics, only one death occurs for every 500,000 jumps.

According to the British medial website Health Research Funding, the probability of having an accident while bungee jumping is 1 in 500,000. It also approximately equates the danger of 1 bungee jump to driving 100 miles by automobile, and also asserts that one is less likely to die while bungee jumping than while driving 100 mph.

The same source notes that the first bungee jump was made from the Clifton Suspension Bridge in England in 1978.

The Macau Tower in China offers the highest commercial bungee jump in the world at 764 feet.

Not content with jumping off grounded structures, Andrew Salisbury bungee jumped 3,157 feet from a helicopter over Cancun, Mexico, 1991.

Probably the most unique bungee jump was made by Carl Dionisio, whose 100-foot jump in South Africa was safely accomplished with a bungee cord made entirely of condoms.

Sources: Daily Mail, American Council on Science and Health, Health Research Funding / Photo credit: Pixabay, CEN via Daily Mail, Javier Rosendo via Daily Mail

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