Sat, Oct 14, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Three killed in skydiving accident in Australia

The Guardian

Three skydivers have died in North Queensland, Australia, in what police said might have been the result of a mid-air mishap.

Two men in their 30s and a woman in her 50s were found dead at Mission Beach — several kilometers from the usual beach landing point — just after 3pm yesterday.

The accident might have been caused by parachute failures when the skydivers collided after jumping from the plane, police said.

“Initial investigations indicate that a solo skydiver may have collided with tandem skydivers in mid-air with their parachutes failing to deploy correctly,” police said in a statement.

Cassowary Shire councillor Wayne Kimberley, a who has represented the Mission Beach area for more than a decade, said it was a “terrible accident and obviously a tragedy for the community and the [local tourism] industry.”

“Obviously from council’s perspective, we’ll be offering as much support as we can to try and find out what actually happened,” he said. “We value the tourism industry and this is a terrible blow to that industry — particularly at Mission Beach, where we rely so heavily on tourism.”

Skydiving is an attraction for adventure-minded tourists in the area, along with whitewater rafting on the Tully River, he added.

Kimberley said he knew little of the details, including on the initial discovery of the victims, but added that skydivers usually landed on Mission Beach in front of the Castaways resort, which is about 3km south of the less populated area near Alexander Drive, where the victims were found.

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