DUBAI — A woman allegedly leapt to her death off the world's tallest building, supposedly due to heartbreak.
Laura Vanessa Nunes, 39, is said to have gone up to the Burj Khalifa's observation deck—located on the 148th floor—and slipped through the viewing area's glass panels, plunging headfirst to her death.
Nunes' mother, Leona Sykes, claims she gained access from police to view footage of the incident. She says in the video, her daughter is seen walking over to the glass, peering out over the city. She then runs to the back of the observation deck, possibly out of fear for what she was about to do. When she finally gains the confidence to jump, she walks back over to the glass wall, then turns around and looks up, appearing to say a prayer. Seconds later, she sticks her head out of the building, squeezes her body through, and lets go.
Reports of the devastating incident indicate Nunes fell approximately 1,640 feet before crashing onto the terrace of a restaurant located on the Burj's third floor.
According to her mother, at the time of her death, Nunes was caught up in an on-and-off relationship with an Emirati business man she had met years prior, and was distraught over the state of her romantic life.
A citizen of both Portugal and South Africa, Nunes had been living in Dubai on a tourist visa in hopes of finding employment, and is believed to have converted to Islam seven months prior to her suicide.
Responding to media reports of the incident, Dubai police on Monday disputed allegations that Nunes had committed suicide by leaping from the popular tourist attraction, and claimed that the suicide did not occur at the Burj, but rather from the 14th floor of Nunes' own apartment building.
Nunes' death reportedly took place in November, 2014, but has only recently come to light as a result of the highly-controlled media in the UAE. Following the tragic incident, protective bars have been installed in the space between the Burj's glass panels, making it virtually impossible for anyone to fit through going forward.
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