Man killed after 'zorb' ride goes awry: report

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 2:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 3:02pm

A father-of-two was killed in a horrifying accident when a giant inflatable ball in which he and another man were rolling down a mountain plunged off a cliff at a ski-resort in southern Russia, The Daily Mail reported.

Denis Burakov, 27, married with two young daughters, broke his neck and spine in the zorbing accident, the newspaper reported, adding that his companion Vladimir Shcherbov, 33, was hospitalised with concussion and multiple lacerations to the head and body, but miraculously was later released.

The so-called 'zorb' was supposed to come to a halt at the bottom of a gentle snowy piste, designed for the sport, which originated in New Zealand.

But in a terrifying accident filmed by the victim’s friends, it lurched first to the right and then to the left, the newspaper reported.

As he got into the giant ball, an unnamed friend - who filmed the horror - is heard saying: “Denis, you'll be like Jackie Chan in the Armour of God movie!” 

An instructor is asked how far the ‘orb’ can go, replying ‘not that far’ and explaining there was a man lower down the mountain ready to catch it if it went off track.

But as it is pushed down the slope, a man's voice is heard saying: “Oh f***, it's gone in the wrong direction again.”

Suddenly the male voice screams:  “Hold it, hold it! Hold!”  Then he says: 'Ah well, it's OK, it'll stop by itself.”

The ball crashes through rocks and teeters on the edge of ravine - before disappearing from view, over the cliff.

A probe has been opened into criminal negligence causing death on the part of the extreme sports organisers.

The maximum penalty is ten years in prison.