x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Man falls from region's tallest rock-climbing wall

A climber fell from a 15-metre climbing wall, the region's highest, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

DUBAI // A man has fallen 10 metres from the region's tallest rock-climbing wall, at Dubai World Trade Centre, witnesses say.

One witness said the Lebanese man, 25, suffered serious injuries in the incident at Dorell Sports. He said a number of climbers came to the man's aid as he lay at the bottom of the 15-metre wall.

"We heard a loud crash and looked over to see that someone had suffered a ground fall," said Brian Coones, 26, a personal trainer and climbing coach from the US.

The man was reportedly on his first climb. Mr Coones said the man had a seizure while awaiting the ambulance, which arrived about 45 minutes after the fall.

Maurice Dorell, the owner of Dorell Sports, denied the man's injuries were serious.

"There was a minor accident in which a climber was not seriously injured," Mr Dorell said.

"The incident is under investigation and beyond that I cannot say much."

Members of the Dubai climbing community were shocked that a "ground fall" had occurred in a controlled environment.

"Any accident that happens in a controlled environment is something that should be taken seriously," said James Falchetto, the founder of Traks, an industrial and recreational climbing company and equipment provider that trains search and rescue teams in the UAE.

"My sympathy goes out to the victim and his family."