Man leaps to death off world’s tallest building

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(AP)  DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – A man committed suicide on Tuesday in a plunge of 39 floors from a segment of the world’s tallest skyscraper in Dubai, according to the its owner and reports in the local media.

Emaar Properties, the owner of the towering Burj Khalifa said in a brief statement “an incident involving a male” was reported at the tower’s site at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday.

“The concerned authorities have confirmed that it was a suicide, and we are awaiting the final report,” Emaar’s statement also said. It did not elaborate further.

The media reports quoted security officials as saying the man fell from the 147th floor of the 2,717 foot-tall (828-meter) Burj Khalifa and landed on a deck on the 108th floor. It is the first known suicide from the landmark tower, which opened in January 2010.

Reports on the websites of the Gulf News and 7 Days newspapers say the man jumped Tuesday after a dispute with his company.

Police did not immediately reply to calls by The Associated Press for further details.

According to Emaar, the skyscraper has 160 habitable stories. An observation deck is located on the 124th floor and a restaurant — billed as the highest in the world — is located just two floors bellow.

The tower was designed by Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which has a long track record engineering some of the world’s tallest buildings, including Chicago’s Willis Tower, the tallest in the U.S. formerly known as the Sears Tower.

Burj Khalifa ranks not only as the highest building but also as the tallest freestanding structure in the world, according to its developer.

In March, a French skyscraper climber successfully climbed the tapering metal and glass tower in downtown Dubai in six hours. The 48-year-old climber, Alain Robert, used a rope and harness to comply with organizers’ requirements in the Gulf sheikdom.

Late last year, actor Tom Cruise was seen dangling from the Burj during stunt filming for the latest installment of the “Mission: Impossible” series.