Skydiver killed in mid-air collision 50ft above ground

Second man, who was taking part in separate jump, survived but has been seriously injured
  • @cahalan

One skydiver died and another was left in a serious condition following a mid-air collision on Saturday.

A 53-year-old from London died at the scene, following the incident at Sibson airfield near Peterborough, but a 28-year-old from France survived the fall because he absorbed some of the impact through his legs, it was claimed.

It is understood the pair had jumped separately and were not skydiving in tandem when the incident occurred about 50ft above the ground shortly after 3.30pm.

It is believed the collision caused both of their parachutes to collapse.

"One of the two was in cardiac arrest when we arrived. Despite the best efforts of the local ambulance service and our added procedures, we were unable to save him and we moved our concentration on to the second patient who suffered very nasty lower leg fractures and lower spinal injury," Dr Nick Foster of the Air Ambulance told ITN. "The second man was fortunate in a way that he landed on his feet in that he absorbed some of the impact through the long bones in his legs. I think the first chap absorbed the impact through his chest."

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) added that, despite air ambulance crews working hard to try to save the man's life, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The survivor suffered serious spine and leg injuries and was flown to nearby Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

Sibson airfield is one of two bases for UK Parachuting, which offers skydiving courses and charity jumps.

Cambridgeshire Police said the British Parachute Association would be investigating the accident.