A Briton has been arrested after he climbed more than halfway up the world’s fifth-tallest skyscraper in Seoul with just his bare hands on Monday, authorities said.
More than 90 emergency personnel, police and other emergency personnel have been dispatched to the 123-storey, 555-meter (1,820-foot) tall Lotte World Tower, after the man was seen climbing the building Monday morning, the Seoul Fire Agency reported. statement.
The statement said the man, in his 20s, reached the 72nd floor, which is 310 meters (1,020 feet) high, before officials escorted him to an elevator and transported him inside the building.
South Korean media identified the man as free climber George King Thompson. Reports said he was carrying a parachute and told police he wanted to base jump off the top of a building.
Fire authorities and police did not immediately confirm the name of the man or the motive.
King-Thompson was arrested in 2019 after climbing the Shard in London – the UK’s tallest skyscraper at 310 meters (1,017 ft) – after trespassing charges were brought against him by the building’s owners. He was sentenced to six months in prison and served three.
In 2021, he climbed the 36-storey Stratosphere Tower, an apartment block in the East London neighborhood of Stratford and reached the top in less than half an hour. He said he chose the building because he was shocked by the flash floods that had recently hit the area and he wanted to raise awareness of the seriousness of climate change.
Police confirmed that the man had been taken into custody, but gave no further details.
Lotte Property & Development, which operates the tower, said the man did not suffer any serious injuries. The fire agency’s statement said he had a cut to the skin on his right knee.
In 2018, French climber Alain Robert, known as “Spider-Man” for his daring stunts, was also arrested after climbing to the 75th floor of Lotte World Tower. Lotte officials said they heard he was eventually released and left South Korea after telling police they did not want to press charges for obstruction or trespassing.
Lotte Property & Development said company officials were expected to discuss what to do with the Briton.
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