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Paraglider pair die in plunge

TWO paragliders were killed yesterday when they fell nearly 100 feet near Brand's Hatch in Kent. The pair, members of the Green Dragons Paragliding Club, based in Dagenham, Essex, were killed after their parachute turned inside out as they were being towed into the air together, a police spokesman said, Peter Victor writes.

Last night police were waiting to notify next of kin before naming the victims, both of whom were men.

At least three people were killed last year while paragliding, a sport in which participants wearing parachutes are dragged behind vehicles before letting go to fly freely.

A spokesman for Brand's Hatch said the two were attempting a 'tandem flight', wearing a special dual harness attached to one parachute.

Angus Pinkerton, chairman of the flying and safety committee of the British Hangliding and Paragliding Association, which has some 7,000 members - said: 'This sounds to me a very unusual accident. Most accidents that occur are people flying off hills.'

He said paragliders have to take an extensive training course before obtaining a certificate from the BHPA.

Both victims of yesterday's accident were qualified.