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One Russian man has died and another is injured in hospital after what was supposed to be a thrilling ride in the Caucasus Mountains went wrong.

Friends filmed as they were sent off down the slope in the large ball known as a “zorb” – and could only watch in horror as it went off course and plunged over a precipice.

The supplier said every safety rule had been broken. Sergey Loginov, Deputy Director of Z-orb.ru said: “Everything was wrongly organised. Like any other attraction, zorbing presents a certain danger. They did not have a launchpad equipped, it was just a snowhill they would roll people from in a zorb. Secondly, the route was not fenced off at all, and there was an obvious abyss on the left.”

The accident prompted Russia’s emergencies minister to demand the country address its lax enforcement of safety rules for winter sports, citing a series of accidents over the January holidays.

The sport of zorbing originated in the 1990s in New Zealand and is now done around the world, most often on grassy slopes.

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