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Three people die in 'mid-air skydiving collision' in Australia

Two men in their 30s and a woman in her 50s were found dead after the incident.

File photo of a parachute
File photo of a parachute
Image: Shutterstock/kc.bangkaew

THREE PEOPLE HAVE died in Australia today in what is believed to be a mid-air skydiving collision.

Two men in their 30s and a woman in her 50s were found dead at Mission Beach, south of popular tourist town Cairns, this afternoon.

“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.

“Two men in their 30s and a woman in her 50s were located deceased at the scene.”

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation cited ambulance officials as saying one of the victims fell into someone’s garden.

“We had a report of a skydiver who had been found in the garden at a residence in Mission Beach,” Queensland Ambulance Service’s Neil Noble said.

“Shortly thereafter we received another report of another two skydivers that’d been found close by.”

Eyewitness

An unnamed eyewitness told the Cairns Post newspaper the mood in the town was sombre as residents came to terms with what had happened.

“I didn’t see anyone near them, but they were at a fairly high altitude so maybe a collision happened further up,” he said.

“You could see one chute was tangled and it wasn’t opening. I was just watching him in free fall until he went behind the trees, and that was the last I saw.”

Skydive Australia said operations at Mission Beach had been suspended while investigations were under way.

Located midway between Cairns and Townsville, Mission Beach, a gateway to Dunk Island, is popular with backpackers making their way down the Queensland state coast.

© AFP 2017

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