Mission Beach skydiving accident kills three people

  • Two men and one woman have been killed in a skydiving accident in Queensland
  • Emergency services were called to Mission Beach, south of Cairns, about 3.15pm
  • The three were aged in their 30s and 50s and were treated for critical injuries
  • One of those killed was a highly experienced instructor taking part in a solo jump
  • The other two victims, an instructor and a customer, were in a tandem jump pair

By Kirby Spencer and Brooke Rolfe For Daily Mail Australia and Australian Associated Press

Published: 02:28 EDT, 13 October 2017 | Updated: 06:36 EDT, 13 October 2017

A mother-of-eight and two experienced instructors died in a skydiving accident in far north Queensland.

Emergency services were called to Mission Beach, 140km south of Cairns, about 3.15pm on Friday. 

The incident occurred near Alexander Drive, with Queensland Police believing the woman in her 50s was a customer and the two men, aged 34 and 35, were instructors.

All three were treated for critical injuries but were confirmed dead on the scene by paramedics, with Skydive Australia stating two highly experienced instructors were killed as well as a customer.

'One of the deceased, a highly experienced instructor who had completed thousands of jumps, was completing a solo jump,' their statement read.

'The other two were jumping as a tandem pair: a highly experienced instructor and a customer.' 

Three people have been killed in a skydiving accident near in Queensland, including two men in their 30s and a woman in her 50s
Three people have been killed in a skydiving accident near in Queensland, including two men in their 30s and a woman in her 50s

Three people have been killed in a skydiving accident near in Queensland, including two men in their 30s and a woman in her 50s

The incident occured near Alexander Drive in Mission Beach (pictured) on Friday
The incident occured near Alexander Drive in Mission Beach (pictured) on Friday

The incident occured near Alexander Drive in Mission Beach (pictured) on Friday

The company said skydiving operations have been suspended at Mission Beach while authorities conduct an extensive investigation.

They also extended their 'deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the individuals and families involved and the broader skydiving community'.

Queensland Police said that initial investigations indicate a solo skydiver may have collided with tandem skydivers in mid-air.

After the collision their parachutes are believed to have failed to deploy correctly.

Skydive Australia, with reps seen talking to police here, confirmed that two highly experienced instructors were killed as well as a customer
Skydive Australia, with reps seen talking to police here, confirmed that two highly experienced instructors were killed as well as a customer

Skydive Australia, with reps seen talking to police here, confirmed that two highly experienced instructors were killed as well as a customer

The company said skydiving operations have been suspended at Mission Beach while authorities conduct an extensive investigation
The company said skydiving operations have been suspended at Mission Beach while authorities conduct an extensive investigation

The company said skydiving operations have been suspended at Mission Beach while authorities conduct an extensive investigation

All three of the people involved were treated for critical injuries but were confirmed dead on the scene by paramedics
All three of the people involved were treated for critical injuries but were confirmed dead on the scene by paramedics

All three of the people involved were treated for critical injuries but were confirmed dead on the scene by paramedics

It is understood one of the victims was found in the backyard of a house, while the two others were located tangled in a nearby tree, about 1.5km away from the regular landing zone.

An eyewitness who watched the incident unfold told the Cairns Post that he could do nothing.

'You could see one chute was tangled and it wasn't opening,' the unnamed man said.

'I was just watching him in free fall until he went behind the trees, and that was the last I saw.' 

It is understood one of the victims was found in the backyard of a house, while the two others were located tangled in a nearby tree
It is understood one of the victims was found in the backyard of a house, while the two others were located tangled in a nearby tree

It is understood one of the victims was found in the backyard of a house, while the two others were located tangled in a nearby tree

Skydivers could be seen landing safely on Mission beach earlier in the day, before the incident occured around 3pm
Skydivers could be seen landing safely on Mission beach earlier in the day, before the incident occured around 3pm

Skydivers could be seen landing safely on Mission beach earlier in the day, before the incident occured around 3pm

An eyewitness who watched the incident unfold told the Cairns Post that he could see one chute was tangled and wasn't opening
An eyewitness who watched the incident unfold told the Cairns Post that he could see one chute was tangled and wasn't opening

An eyewitness who watched the incident unfold told the Cairns Post that he could see one chute was tangled and wasn't opening

The witness said it appeared as if the skydiver did not activate a backup parachute. 

'It wasn’t good to watch. I had my heart in my mouth.'

Police said the area had been closed off so inquiries by a specialist forensic team could continue, with investigators and other agencies remaining at the scene. 

Local Councillor, Wayne Kimberley, described the incident as a terrible tragedy, while Cassowary Coast Mayor John Kremastos told the ABC the news was devastating.

Local Councillor, Wayne Kimberley, described the incident in the tourist town as a terrible tragedy
Local Councillor, Wayne Kimberley, described the incident in the tourist town as a terrible tragedy

Local Councillor, Wayne Kimberley, described the incident in the tourist town as a terrible tragedy

Emergency Services attended the scene, with Queensland Police saying that initial investigations indicate a solo skydiver may have collided with tandem skydivers mid-air
Emergency Services attended the scene, with Queensland Police saying that initial investigations indicate a solo skydiver may have collided with tandem skydivers mid-air

Emergency Services attended the scene, with Queensland Police saying that initial investigations indicate a solo skydiver may have collided with tandem skydivers mid-air

'We are very, very saddened to hear about this news and right now I feel quite gutted actually,' he said.

'It's horrible news for the families and the thoughts of the council and the residents go to all those concerned and the families of those that have been killed.'

Mission Beach, located between Cairns and Townsville, is a regular skydiving spot for tourists, with the fatalities the worst in the industry's history for the region.

The Australian Parachute Federation has also sent representatives from Brisbane to investigate.

Police said the area had been closed off so inquiries by a specialist forensic team could continue, with officers and other agencies remaining
Police said the area had been closed off so inquiries by a specialist forensic team could continue, with officers and other agencies remaining

Police said the area had been closed off so inquiries by a specialist forensic team could continue, with officers and other agencies remaining

The Australian Parachute Federation has also sent representatives from Brisbane to investigate 
The Australian Parachute Federation has also sent representatives from Brisbane to investigate 

The Australian Parachute Federation has also sent representatives from Brisbane to investigate 

Mission Beach (pictured), is a regular skydiving spot for tourists, with the fatalities the worst in the industry's history for the region
Mission Beach (pictured), is a regular skydiving spot for tourists, with the fatalities the worst in the industry's history for the region

Mission Beach (pictured), is a regular skydiving spot for tourists, with the fatalities the worst in the industry's history for the region

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