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February 14, 2014

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Daredevil climbers conquer city tower

Security has been tightened at the under-construction Shanghai Tower after two Russians evaded guards to make their way to the top of China’s tallest building during the Spring Festival.

Undercover of darkness, Vadim Makhorov and Vitaly Raskalov, nicknamed the “Urban Ninjas,” gained entrance to the building and climbed the stairs to the top of the 121-story structure.

They then scaled a crane at the top of the 632-meter structure without safety gear, taking pictures and making a video of their exploit.

“There are a lot of guards and cameras around in the daytime, so we started climbing during the night. It was easier to stay unnoticed that way,” Makhorov said.

A construction company spokeswoman said the Russians had managed to enter the building because work had halted for the holiday and the guards that remained onsite were focused on fire and theft prevention.

Zhu Yaping said: “We are greatly sorry for what happened and hope the extremely dangerous actions will never happen to the building again.” She said the authority had taken measures to avoid similar cases.

The company is putting wire netting around the building and installing security doors at entrances.

Fang Qingqiang, in charge of construction, said that with workers spending Spring Festival with their families, only 100 staff, including security guards, worked in the building.

The Russian pair said it took about two hours to make their way to the top. They then waited for 18 hours for clouds to disperse so they could take pictures of the city.

Vadim said the view from the top was like looking out of an aircraft window. “We were not afraid at all and we have never had any injuries as a result of our sky walking,” he told UK reporters.

The pair said they had been preparing for their “physically and mentally challenging” mission for about two months.

“Our target was to climb the highest tower in China and the second-highest in the world, it felt amazing to accomplish it. The sky is the limit,” they said.

Only the Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates is higher.

In a 4-minute movie posted online, which can be seen at, the pair are seen sneaking into the building at night, dressed in black.

 After sunrise, they begin climbing a crane at the top of the building, taking pictures of each other on the way up.

They left the building around 6am the next day, smiling at some staff who were arriving for work.

Pudong police said yesterday they were investigating.

The Russian pair said they also climbed other high buildings in the city, including the 333-meter Shanghai Shimao International Plaza, the tallest building in Puxi.

They caused a sensation last year when they dodged guards to climb to the top of the Great Pyramid of Giza and posted pictures online.

The 420-meter Jin Mao Tower, also in Lujiazui, has long been an attraction for climbers.

In 2005, a 30-year-old native of Anhui Province surnamed Han, scaled the tower.

Two months ago, another man climbed about 20 stories before he became paralyzed with fright and had to be rescued.

In the most eye-catching case, Alain Robert, “the French Spider-Man” climbed the 88-story tower in June 2007. Afterward, he was detained for five days by police.



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