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Daredevil David Blaine floats high above Arizona desert on balloons

(Reuters) - Daredevil David Blaine performed his latest stunt on Wednesday, ascending nearly 25,000 feet (7,600 meters) into the Arizona sky while hanging from a cluster of jumbo-sized balloons before parachuting safely back to earth.

“It’s like magic, it feels like I’m floating in the air,” Blaine said on a radio to his team of aides back on the ground after gently lifting off from a desert airstrip in Page, Arizona, connected to dozens of balloons.

The so-called “extreme performer” set off at around 7:30 a.m. local time. He gradually dropped small weights to speed his ascent, donned a parachute mid-flight and strapped on an oxygen mask as he neared an altitude where most commercial airliners travel.

Blaine, 47, has a history of performing high-profile and high-risk feats of endurance. His stunts include locking himself in a fish bowl, trapping himself in a block of ice for two days in Times Square, and standing freely atop a thin, tall pillar for 35 hours in New York City.

Wednesday’s stunt lasted roughly 30 minutes. Blaine released himself from the balloon cluster and free-fell for some 30 seconds before deploying a parachute to slow his descent.

“Wow, that was awesome,” Blaine yelled into his radio as he stood back on land. The feat, broadcast on YouTube, appeared unmarred by glitches of any kind.

Reporting by Frank McGurty; Editing by Tom Brown

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