Douglas Tweedale, 32, an editor on the foreign desk at United Press International in Washington and a former foreign correspondent in Central America and Argentina, was killed Oct. 4 in a fall at his home in Washington.

Friends and family members said Mr. Tweedale was washing windows at his sixth-floor apartment in the Adams-Morgan section when a safety rope he had tied around himself snapped and he plunged to the pavement below. He died instantly.

Mr. Tweedale had returned to Washington from Managua, Nicaragua, last April and was the editor in charge of preparing UPI's foreign news report for morning newspapers.

From his base in Nicaragua, he had covered a wide range of major stories in Central America, including the Sandinista-contra civil war, the Salvadoran rebel offensive last fall, the invasion of Panama and the election earlier this year that ousted the Sandinista regime.

A native of New York City, he grew up in South America and Europe. He graduated cum laude from Harvard University in 1981 with a degree in history.

Mr. Tweedale worked in Argentina from 1982 to 1986 and was on the staff of the Buenos Aires Herald. He also worked as a part-time correspondent for several news organizations, including National Public Radio, the Boston Globe and Newsweek.

He returned to the United States in 1986 and joined UPI in Washington on the foreign desk. He was transferred to Managua to head the bureau there about a year later.

Survivors include his wife, the former Patricia Vasquez, of Washington; his father and stepmother, Thomas L. and Judith Pennebaker Tweedale of Wilmington, Del.; a brother, Anthony C. Tweedale of Missoula, Mont.; a sister, Katherine E. Tweedale of Birmingham, Mich.; and a stepbrother, Army Lt. Clay Ludlum of San Antonio, Texas.