A woman in Canada has miraculously survived after plummeting more than 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) during a skydiving accident. The 30-year-old, who has not been named, fell into a wooded area after her main and backup parachutes failed to fully open in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, on August 10.
According to Radio Canada, the woman crashed into trees at a speed of at least 60 kilometers per hour (37 miles per hour). She escaped with non life-threatening injuries and is currently in hospital after suffering several fractures including broken vertebrae.
“It’s a miracle,” Denis Demers, who witnessed the woman drop from the sky, told Radio-Canada/CBC. “I don’t know how a person can survive a fall from an airplane like that.”
Another eyewitness, Océane Duplessis, described what she saw while she was about to board a different plane for her own jump. “We watched all the way to the end. We kept hoping something would happen,” she said. “We were very worried. Very.”
The woman was taking part in a jump at the Parachutisme Adrénaline facility. Trois-Rivières police are investigating the incident to determine if there was any criminal negligence. “Investigators met with witnesses of the event but the investigation is not yet finished,” a police spokesperson confirmed to Newsweek.
Parachutisme Adrénaline did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Police said the woman had previous skydiving experience.
According to the United States Parachute Association, there were 13 skydiving fatalities in the U.S. in 2018, the equivalent to one death in every 253,669 skydives. There were 2,147 injuries in the U.S. last year, or one in every 1,536 skydives.
In June, a skydiving company operating at a Colorado airport experienced its fourth skydiving fatality within 12 months. Brock Barto, 29, died from his injuries following a jump at Longmont’s Vance Brand Municipal Airport, where Mile-Hi Skydiving operates.
“From all accounts his ‘chute was functioning properly,” Longmont police Sergeant John Wederquist told The Denver Post. “He just misjudged his swooping landing, and impacted the ground hard.”
At the time, there had been six skydiving fatalities in the U.S. in 2019, three of which occurred at Mile-Hi.
“It certainly has our attention,” said United States Parachuting Association Ed Scott. “We’ve really worked hard to lower the fatality count and the fatality rate in our sport.
“We do tend to see a higher rate of accidents at the busier locations,” Scott added while pointing out that Mile-Hi is one of the 20 busiest skydiving companies in the country.
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