Saturday 21 September 2019

British tourist (55) dies in skydiving accident at Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon. iStock/PA.
The Grand Canyon. iStock/PA.

Tom Horton

A 55-year-old man from the UK has died in a skydiving accident in the US, according to local police.

Christopher Swales went into free fall during a tandem skydive near the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona on Sunday.

His skydiving partner, who worked at a skydiving centre, survived the fall but suffered a broken leg and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Cocnino County Sheriff's Office, who named Mr Swales as the victim on Tuesday, said the skydivers had "encountered difficulties while approaching the landing area" at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport.

"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.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman confirmed that the department are supporting the man's family.

"Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time," he added.

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