A BRITISH skydiver died in a horror plunge at the Grand Canyon national park in the US on Sunday, police announced last night.
Christopher Swales, 55, went into free fall during a tandem skydive near the natural landmark in Arizona.
Christopher Swales, 55, died in a horror skydiving accident after taking off from Grand Canyon National Park airport on Sunday[/caption]
His skydiving partner, who worked at a skydiving centre, survived the fall but suffered a broken leg and was taken to hospital for treatment.
Coconino County Sheriff’s Office named Mr Swales as the victim on Tuesday.
The skydivers had “encountered difficulties while approaching the landing area” at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport, cops said.
“These difficulties caused the pair to free fall for an unknown distance and hit the ground in what was described as a ‘hard landing’”, the statement added.
Swales had purchased a package that included a tandem jump from Paragon Skydive, investigators said.
Emergency services rushed to the scene shortly before 10am local time.
Mr Swales was taken to hospital but despite medics’ efforts he was later pronounced dead.
An investigation into the accident is ongoing, according to the force, although there are currently no signs that a criminal act took place.
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman confirmed that the department is supporting the Mr Swales’ family.
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He added: “Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”
Calls to Paragon Skydive went to a voicemail message saying the company wasn’t available on Tuesday and its message box was full.
The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating.
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