Video: Base jumper's parachute fails - but he survives 120m plunge

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In a video that is surely the stuff of nightmares, this base jumper was filmed as he dived from a 120m power pylon in Russia and plunged to the ground headfirst after his parachute failed to open.

The daredevil was clearly nervous about making the dive - but he was obviously unaware just how dangerous it was.

Amazingly, the man survived - despite suffering fractured vertebrae, pelvis and legs. It is believed that cushioning provided by the snow on the ground was the only reason he lived.

Base jumping is an increasingly popular activity among thrillseekers - but it has a high rate of accidents. It involves jumping off fixed objects: buildings, antennas, spans and earth (hence the acronym BASE) using parachutes and wing suits - and it is known to be more dangerous than skydiving.

"There are very few base jumpers with more than 500 jumps who have not spent serious time in hospital due to accidents. Most agree that it is just a matter of time until they are seriously injured. If you are not ready to die base jumping, you are not ready to go base jumping" according to information provided by the Snake River Base Academy, a US extreme sports company.

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