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ARKIB : 04/11/2000

Singapore police nab ''Spiderman'' in skyscraper climb

ALAIN "Spiderman" Robert, a Frenchman who defies authorities around the world by scaling the world's tallest buildings without permission, climbs past police officers on the 22nd floor of Singapore's Oversea-Union Bank headquarters after he accepted a rope from rescue workers and aborted his attempt to ascend the 60-story-high structure yesterday. - Reuterspix.

SINGAPORE Nov 3 - A French daredevil clambered up 21 storeys of a skyscraper in central Singapore on Friday only to be nabbed by police before he reached the top.

Alain ''Spiderman'' Robert, who has persistently eluded police to climb some of the world's tallest buildings, used only his bare hands to scale the 280-metre Overseas Union Bank tower as shocked office workers watched from the street.

''I was panicking that he was going to fall,'' said one anxious bystander. ''I was just silently praying.''

Another said she thought Robert was trying to commit suicide.

But after an exchange of hand signals with police inside the 60-storey building, the 38-year-old climbed into custody through a window opened by rescue workers.

Flanked by officers, he emerged to cheers from the crowd and was taken away to face the music he has heard many times before.

''We are treating the investigation as a case of criminal trespass,'' a police spokesman said. If convicted, Robert faces a maximum jail sentence of three months.

The professional climber has illegally scaled more than 30 buildings, including the Empire State Building in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the 110-storey Sears Tower in Chicago.

''I free-climb buildings firstly because they exist, but also because they are the urban mountain,'' Robert said in an interview on Thursday.

Last year, the daredevil had to be rescued halfway up a 110-metre Paris building after suffering cramps and dehydration. - Reuters

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