Tourist becomes first to die in fall from Norway's 1,982ft Pulpit Rock

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Tourist becomes first to die in fall from Norway's 1,982ft Pulpit Rock

A Spanish man has become the first person to die at Norway's famous 1,982ft tourist attraction.

The holidaymaker reportedly disappeared off the side of the steep mountain plateau while taking photos on Tuesday afternoon.

Preikestolen, in English known as Preacher's Pulpit or Pulpit Rock, is a cliff that hangs 600 meters above Lysefjorden, East of Stavanger. Even though a two-hour hike is required to get there, it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Norway.

According to News In English, Kjell Helle Olsen, a former leader of the local hiking association, Stavanger Turistforening, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK): "We've always feared that this could happen. It's tragic, but this is something we figured could happen."

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The site reports that the Spanish tourist, who'd joined a group he'd met in Stavanger, was about to leave the mountaintop when he said he was just going to take a few more photos. His companions said they suddenly heard a scream, and that he disappeared over the edge.

His body was found on Wednesday by mountain climbers and a Sea King helicopter and was taken to Stavanger University Hospital for an autopsy.

Local sheriff Odd-Bjørn Næss said it was the first time anyone had accidentally fallen over the edge of Preikestolen.

As many as 200,000 people visit the attraction every year. The flat granite plateau rises 600 metres above the Lyse Fjord, and was formed during the ice age 10,000 years ago.

Debate over the safety of the attraction has been going on for years. Local officials say tourists visit at their own risk and offers advice about not getting too close to the edge.

There has been a recurring debate about whether a safety fence should be built around it, but tourist associations reportedly believe it could offer a false sense of security, with people being tempted to sit or balance on it.

British tourist Greg MacDonald, who recently visited the attraction, said he did not dare get too close to the edge.

He told The Sun: "Others, including fairly young children, will happily sit with their legs hanging over the edge whilst eating their lunch.

"It made me a bit nervous just watching other people stand so close to the edge - especially when some jumped in the air for a photo."

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