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Would emergency parachutes in high-rise buildings stave off another 9/11 disaster?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 7th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The world watched in horror as those trapped in the World Trade Center at the top floors faced burning to death or falling to their deaths that fateful day on September 11, 2001. An inventor now says that his new safety parachute, set aside for such contingencies, is what the world needs.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Inventor Morris Shahbazi says his emergency chute can open in 100 feet, far faster than conventional parachutes, and he hopes it will soon become de rigueur in high rise blocks around the world.

In a daredevil demonstration, the inventor completed the 13th test of the system, and has put the chute on the market after getting permission from skyscraper managers in Panama. Of all 13 jumps, the parachute worked perfectly.

Shahbazi, demonstrating the product started working on the "SOS Parachute" project 12 years ago following the World Trade Center disaster.
 
Shahbazi's Panamanian company, SOS Parachute has now opened offices in America, Dubai and Singapore and says a London operation is expected to open soon.

The product is described as a "high evacuation system."

"My chute opens faster than a conventional parachute and as a result it needs only 100 feet of drop to be fully operational," he said. 

The idea is intriguing, but many people on the Daily Mail Web site rushed to qualify the gadget's claims.

"I was in the 82nd Airborne Division in the Vietnam era and have a few dozen airborne jumps," said one reader.
"The military airborne jump is done the way this appears to work and that is with a 'static line' that the jumper hooks on a cable in the jump airplane.

"When the jumper goes out the door the static line stays hooked to the cable and pulls the 'chute out of it's pack and open. Most don't realize that military jumps are made from low altitude meaning about 800 feet. They could be done lower but the height is made for safety in case the safety second reserve 'chute needs to be activated and also to space out the troops.

"Some training jumps are made from helicopters at very low altitudes like maybe as little as 250 feet as I recall. This is all different then 'sky diving' where the objective is to glide or perform maneuvers in the air while falling and then at about 1,000 feet the 'chute is opened. I had thought about the concept for buildings myself but there can be wind problems."

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