A Brit man has plunged to his death near the Grand Canyon in the US following a horrifying skydiving accident.
Christopher Swales, 55, jumped out of a plane in a tandem dive attached to an instructor in northern Arizona on Sunday after taking off from Grand Canyon Airport.
His diving partner, who worked for Paragon Skydive, miraculously survived the fall but suffered a broken leg and was taken to hospital for treatment.
Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, who named the victim late on Tuesday, said the pair came into difficult when approaching the designated landing area at the airport.
- Arizona exposed: More to state than Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Cathedral Rock
"These difficulties caused the pair to free fall for an unknown distance and hit the ground in what was described as a 'hard landing'," a police statement said.
Emergency services were called shortly before 10am and Mr Swales was later pronounced dead in hospital.
An investigation into the accident is ongoing, according to the force, although there are currently no signs that anything criminal took place.
The death plunge is also being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration who said that the first port of call for the probe will be to check whether the parachute was properly packed.
- Top 20 secret travel destinations you never knew existed
Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the authority, said: "The FAA's skydiving accident investigations typically look at whether the parachutes were properly packed by the appropriate people.
“And, when it occurs during a tandem jump, whether the instructor had the required experience and credentials.”
The Grand Canyon Airport is located in Tusayan, Arizona, approximately 15 minutes from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park.
- Grand Canyon helicopter crash victim becomes FOURTH BRIT to die in tragedy
Private and charter aircraft fly into the airport daily and a few air tour operators are based at the site, including the area's only skydiving operation, Paragon Skydive.
The company opened its doors in 2016.
Daily Star Online has contacted Paragon Skydive for comment.
A UK Foreign Office spokesman confirmed that consular staff in the US were supporting Mr Swales' family. "Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time," the spokesman added.
Source: Read Full Article