Heartbroken South African woman falls to death from famous Dubai attraction

2015-05-20 10:28
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Cape Town - A woman with South African citizenship, Laura Vanessa Nunes, 39, committed suicide by jumping from the 148th floor of the world's tallest building - the Burj Khalifa in Dubai - after her relationship with a wealthy Emirati businessman reportedly failed.

Shockingly, Nunes' death - which occurred on the afternoon of 16 November, last year - has gone unreported, and her mother, Leona Sykes, says that the property group behind the iconic Burj Khalifa, Emaar, has refused to return repeated requests for information about the incident.

Leona Sykes from South Africa told Daily Mail that she travelled to Dubai to seek answers because she could not believe how easy it was for her daughter to leap from the major tourist attraction with supposed modern safety features.

Once there, she convinced the Dubai police to show her the harrowing CCTV footage taken from the observation deck on the day of her daughter's death. 

The video shows that Nunes' was able to slip through a space in the glass paneling on the 148th floor of the high-rise building without anyone noticing her. The the space in glass panels is designed to allow people to take photos from the 500-meter-high lookout deck. 

According to Sykes, Nunes walked towards the viewing platform's glass security panels and put her head through a small gap, which is designed to allow tourists to look out and take photographs.

After a first glance, Nunes rushed back to the back of the observation deck, but returned to the glass window again after a moment. This time, however, she put her head out and maneuvered her body through the paneling with anybody noticing. 

Nunes then fell 500 meters to her death from the lookout-deck and landed on the third floor of the Amal restaurant terrace at the Armani hotel below. 

#uae #dxb #dubai #burj #khalifa #burjkhalifa #armani #amal #amalrestaurant

A photo posted by Khalid Al Hattali (@uae_ghost) on

Sykes says the incident was completely hushed, even though improved safety measures were implement after her daughter's suicide. 

Photos of the at the observation deck taken before and after the tragic incident, show that a safety rail has been put in place since her death.

Na torre maior do mundo, 452 metros, 128 andar #burjkhalifa #Khalifa #MyDubai

A photo posted by Ricardo Cardoso (@ricardosofotos) on

(The extra bar behind the tourist in the picture above is a new safety precaution which put in place by the Dubai police after Nunes' hushed suicide, in which she managed to slip through the gap.)

Laura Vanessa Nunes had both Portuguese and South African citizenship, had embraced the Islam religion seven months before her death. 

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