DUBAI // A man jumped to his death from the Burj Khalifa yesterday in the first recorded suicide from the world's tallest building.
The man, believed to be in his 30s and from India, jumped from an air vent and landed on the terrace of a lower floor.
An expert on the tower’s design suggested he may have jumped from the 148th floor, where there is a small deck, and landed on the 124th-floor observatory. A customer service representative at the observatory said at 6pm yesterday it was closed “for maintenance”.
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A contractor who works at the Burj said last night the incident happened in the early morning and the body was found by a security officer from Emaar, the tower's developers.
“One of the security personnel spotted the body at the observation deck, after which we got to know of the incident.
“We immediately checked to see if he was one of our staff. The entire area was cordoned off.”
He said completion work was continuing in certain sections of the Burj Khalifa and the worker could have been employed by one of the many sub-contractors involved.
Police said the dead man worked at a company inside the Burj and had recently had a request for a holiday turned down.
There was some confusion yesterday over the details of the fall. Floors 45 to 108 of the tower are private residences, and most of the remaining floors are used as corporate suites. The At the Top public observatory is on the 124th floor, and the restaurant At.mosphere is on floor 122.
Police said the man landed on a balcony on the 108th floor, but Adam Farani, a Better Homes consultant who specialises in the tower, said that floor did not have balconies and the man was more likely to have fallen on to the observatory on the 124th floor.
The Indian consulate said yesterday that it had not been officially informed of the suicide and was therefore not able to comment.
Gruesome photos purporting to show the scene of the tragedy were circulating on social media sites yesterday.
In a statement, Emaar Properties said: "At around 9am an incident involving a male was reported at the Burj Khalifa site. The concerned authorities have confirmed that it was a suicide, and we are awaiting the final report."
Police are investigating.