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'Extreme' sport accident in Russia sends 2 men over cliff, killing 1

From Nicky Robertson, CNN
January 10, 2013 -- Updated 0203 GMT (1003 HKT)
(File photo) A woman plays in a Zorb ball in a park on April 24, 2011 in England.
(File photo) A woman plays in a Zorb ball in a park on April 24, 2011 in England.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The accident was videotaped and posted on YouTube
  • One man was killed
  • The men were rolling in a giant ball that fell off cliff

(CNN) -- An extreme sport went extremely wrong recently when two men riding in a large inflatable ball rolled out of control and fell off a snowy mountain in Russia killing one and seriously injuring the other.

The incident, which was captured on video and posted on YouTube, happened on January 3 at a resort in Russia's North Caucasus mountains, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

Read more: What is zorbing?

The two men, identified as Denis Burakov, 27, Vladimir Shcherbov, 33, were inside the giant transparent plastic ball. An attendant pushes them down the snowy mountain and laughter can be heard as the men begin to roll.

The laughter quickly stops as the ball veers off the path and heads towards a cliff. Panicked voices can be heard as another attendant fails to be able to stop the globe as it picks up speed and heads for the cliff.

Burakov broke his neck in the fall and died and Shcherbov was hospitalized with cuts and bruises and a concussion, RIA Novosti said.

The accident caught the attention of ZORB, a company that says it is the "inventors of the sport of globe riding and the manufacturers of the official ZORB globe."

The company said it was distressed by the incident and then distanced itself from the deadly accident.

"This tragedy was committed by an illegal operator who has no association with ZORB, and was not known to ZORB," the company said in a statement. "The equipment was not manufactured by ZORB. The lack of proper berms to stop globes is absolutely prohibited by ZORB. Operating in mountainous, rocky and snow conditions is very dangerous."

Authorities have started an investigation to deterimine if criminal negligence occurred, RIA Novosti reported.

Zorbing is an extreme sport that started in New Zealand.

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