Woman dies in Leaning Tower plunge

Thursday, December 12, 2002

ROME -- An Italian woman plunged to her death from the Leaning Tower of Pisa on Wednesday in an apparent suicide carried out before horrified tourists, police said.

The woman, 61, came from the hamlet of San Giuliano, near Pisa, authorities said.

The woman bought a visitor's ticket and left her purse and identity documents in a locker. After climbing to the highest tier of the 180-foot tall monument, the woman jumped, police said.

The woman had been suffering from an illness for a long time, police said. They declined to release her name or specify her illness.

The monument was reopened to the public a year ago after a decade-long project to reverse some of its tilt.

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