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World News

"Spiderman" nabbed climbing Malaysian twin towers

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A French daredevil climber who has scaled skyscrapers around the world without ropes was arrested in Malaysia on Tuesday as he tried to clamber up the world’s tallest twin towers.

The "French Spiderman" Alain Robert is seen on the 32nd floor of Petronas Twin Towers as he scales the building in Kuala Lumpur March 20, 2007. Robert, a daredevil climber, who has scaled skyscrapers around the world was arrested on Tuesday as he tried to scurry up the world's tallest twin towers in the Malaysian capital. REUTERS/Zainal Abd Halim

Alain Robert, 44, known as the “French Spiderman”, slipped past security guards at the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers and reached the 60th floor before giving himself up.

“It’s a great view from here. There is so much action and it is funny to see people inside the offices staring at me,” Robert told Reuters by phone as he climbed the glass-paneled structure.

Midway through his climb it was like a scene from an action movie with Robert hanging on a ledge on the 35th floor as a police helicopter hovered nearby.

Hundreds of onlookers, many taking pictures with their camera phones, cheered him on.

But a team of firemen and policemen finally stopped him and ordered him to re-enter the building through an opening on the 60th floor. He did not resist.

“We told him to stop,” said Christopher Chong, a fire official coordinating the arrest.

“He waved the Malaysian flag at us. We clapped and he let us take him in.”

UNIMPRESSED

His feat appeared to impress a countryman less.

“There are people who look to distinguish themselves from others, but he can do it elsewhere,” said French Senate president Christian Poncelet, who was coincidentally visiting the towers.

“We still need to respect the laws prevailing in this place.”

Wearing a yellow T-shirt specially made to commemorate his Malaysian bid, Robert was handcuffed and escorted back to earth before he was taken away in a police car.

It was not immediately known if he would be charged with anything.

The climb was Robert’s second failed bid to scale the Petronas Towers. Exactly 10 years ago, he was arrested on the 60th floor of the other tower, a mission he accomplished in 30 minutes.

Robert has climbed over 65 buildings around the world, including the Eiffel Tower, London’s Canary Wharf building, New York’s Empire State Building and Chicago’s Sear’s Tower.

“I find it interesting. It’s a kind of urban mountain,” Robert told Reuters in an interview on Monday. “The good thing is there is always a new urban Everest.”

In 2004 he fended off stormy weather to climb the world’s tallest building, Taipei 101, in Taiwan’s capital.

But the Petronas Towers remained a challenge for Roberts who has repeatedly been denied permission to scale the building.

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