Two Skydivers Die in Arizona Mid-Air Mishap

9:06 AM, Dec 4, 2013   |    comments
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Melanie Eversley, USA TODAY

Two skydivers died and a third was hurt Tuesday after colliding in midair near Eloy, Ariz., the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The Arizona Republic reports that the crash took place at Skydive Arizona, a facility that operates out of Eloy Municipal Airport. The three were performing a jump when they collided, Tucson News Now reports.

Witnesses said the two skydivers who died had open parachutes when they collided with each other 200 to 300 feet from the ground, causing their canopies to collapse and sending them to the ground, Eloy police Sgt. Brian Jerome said.

One person was pronounced dead at the scene and another pronounced dead at Casa Grande Regional Medical Center in Casa Grande, Ariz. One of the skydivers was flown to Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, the Republic said.

Jerome said the deceased were not American, but he declined to name their countries of origin. They were part of a 200-member group, he said.

Investigators are still trying to determine how the collision occurred and plan to interview witnesses throughout the night, Jerome added.

The group had been working to create "as many new 'official' world sequential records as we can" by Friday, according to a website promoting Square1 World Sequential Series '13.

According to the facility's website, Skydive Arizona sits in the heart of the Sonoran Desert midway between Phoenix and Tucson. The facility was launched in 1978 by a skydiving couple and it offers the largest drop zone in the world, the site advertises. Teams Arizona Airspeed and Arizona Arsenal offer coaching from SkyDive Arizona.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed the two deaths.

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