Dutch honeymooner survives fall from World's End

COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lankan troops rescued a Dutch honeymooner who became the first person to survive a fall from the World's End, a 4,000-foot cliff that is one of the country's main tourist attractions, the military said Saturday.

The 35-year-old man had taken a few steps back to take pictures of his new bride when he flew off the unprotected cliff, army spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said.

"He was extremely lucky because he fell on top of a tree about 130 feet from the top," Jayaweera told AFP. "He is the first person to survive a fall from World's End."

Troops used ropes to reach the man and winch him to safety. Some 40 soldiers were involved in the initial rescue which was later backed by a military helicopter.

The man had to be evacuated from the area, however, on the shoulders of troops who carried him over a distance of five kilometres to the nearest point at which he could be driven to hospital.

"His condition is stable and he is out of danger," a police official said.

The World's End cliff is the main attraction at the Horton Plains nature reserve in central Sri Lanka and is a key tourist attraction.