CENTER CITY - It wasn’t a bird. It wasn’t a plane. But it was three parachuting daredevils launching themselves off a 48-story Center City building under construction.
"Are you ****** kidding me? Somebody just jumped off that ******* building" exclaimed Candace Skinner of Center City. Her voice can be heard on two Instagram posts while the jumpers were floating to the ground.
Skinner’s colorful commentary on video was shot from her roof deck early Tuesday morning when she heard a "woof" sound of a parachute opening in the sky.
"There was a lot of cussing, unfortunately. I’m not used to seeing people jumping off buildings," Skinner, manager at an Old City restaurant, remarked.
The parachutists jumped what’s believed to be the top floors or the construction crane of the new 48-story Laurel Rittenhouse Square, now under construction at 1911 Walnut Street. Once finished, the building will be the city’s tallest residential condominium tower.
It’s believed the three are recreational BASE jumpers, daredevils who hurl themselves off high standing fixed objects like bridges or buildings. In most places, the practice is illegal, including Philadelphia.
Skinner says she’s not revealing the exact time of the jump to help protect the identity of the jumpers. She says she doesn’t know the jumpers by name, but once her video went viral on Instagram, the daredevils reached out.
"I didn’t want to get them in trouble, number one. And they just really thanked me for getting the footage," Skinner stated.
Philadelphia police tell FOX 29 they had no reports of the illegal jumpers, though it was learned one of them landed outside a pizza shop near 20th and Walnut. Skinner says it was just another day in Philly.
"I like extreme sports myself. I jump out of airplanes and stuff, so to each his own. As long as they are safe and I think they are professionals at this point," Skinner added.
A spokesperson for Southern Land Company, the New York firm that operates the Laurel Rittenhouse, says the incident is "troubling." They are already taking steps to prevent this kind of potentially life-threatening trespassing from happening again.