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PARACHUTIST FALLS, DIES AT FESTIVAL IN WEST VIRGINIA



Published: Sat, October 21, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Parachutist falls, diesat festival in West Virginia

FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va -- Brian Lee Schubert, 66, fell to his death after his parachute failed to deploy Saturday. He hit the water 876 feet below the New River Gorge Bridge on Saturday during West Virginia's annual Bridge Day festival, said Fayette County Sheriff Bill Laird. Schubert, from Alta Loma, Calif., had been well-known in the sport of BASE jumping since 1966. The sport's acronym stands for the places jumpers usually leap from: buildings, antennae, spans and earth. Lew Whitener, a newspaper photographer covering the event for the Register-Herald of Beckley, said it appeared the chute didn't start to open until the man was about 25 feet above the water.

Exxon workers freed

LAGOS, Nigeria-- Militants in Nigeria have freed seven foreign oil workers seized during an attack this month on an ExxonMobil compound in the restive southern delta region, company officials said Saturday.

The workers -- four Britons, a Romanian, an Indonesian and a Malaysian -- were handed over by the Nigerian government to ExxonMobil officials in the southern town of Eket, said a company official, Yemi Fakajjo. The seven were taken hostage in Eket during an Oct. 3 raid that killed two guards. The men were all in good health, ExxonMobil spokesman Paul Arinze said.

Somalia retakes town

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Somali government forces backed by Ethiopian soldiers have retaken a main town between the capital and the government's base from Islamic fighters, residents said Saturday. The soldiers and Ethiopian troops in about 30 pickup trucks mounted with machine guns fought Islamic militiamen for about 20 minutes before regaining control of Bur Haqaba, which has been held by the government's Islamic rivals for three months, the residents said.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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