A Waller, Texas, skydiving instructor died Saturday during a jump after his parachute failed to open, multiple sources reported.
The victim, whose identity has not been released, suffered severe injuries during a tandem jump on Saturday, the New York Post reported. The victim’s skydiving customer was reportedly taken to a nearby hospital suffering from severe injuries but expected to survive.
“The primary and secondary [parachutes] both just kind of swirled down,” Waller County Sheriff Troy Guidry told CNN.
The cause of the accident is under investigation, Guidry said, and jump operations are suspended pending local law enforcement and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigations, CNN reported.
“Skydive Houston, along with the greater skydiving community at large, is deeply saddened by the loss of our tandem instructor and friend,” the Skydive Houston skydiving center said in a statement Sunday, CNN reported. “Our sincerest condolences are extended to his friends and family. We continue to pray for a full recovery for the injured tandem student.”
The skydiving pair was spotted midair struggling to deploy their parachutes, local resident Alex Arias, who witnessed the incident, told KPRC. The male instructor was reportedly unconscious after hitting the ground while the female student was awake and calling for help. “He let off his primary and then the secondary shoot like opened halfway up so he didn’t fall like a straight fall, he was like 50 percent shoot, like a corkscrew,” Arias said, KPRC reported.
Tandem skydiving accidents are “extremely rare,” Skydive Houston told the NYP. Skydive Houston said there has been just one student fatality per 500,000 jumps in the last 10 years, according to the United States Parachute Association, KPRC reported.
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