They Collide Midair, but the Worst Part Is When They Land
Two Russian skydivers collided in midair and fell to Earth supported by only their emergency chutes, landing hard enough to sustain fatal injuries.
The two men were part of a seven-man team jumping together from a small plane over the Menzelinsky District in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, on May 19.
The seven had planned to jump from above 13,00 feet and free-fall to about 5,200 feet before opening their parachutes.
Video from the helmet-cam of one of the surviving skydivers shows the two shortly after the collision takes place.
One had just begun to open his chute when the other slammed into him.
They could have been traveling as rapidly as 125 mph on their descent. The one who started to open his chute would have decelerated very quickly.
It is not certain if the pair were knocked unconscious by the impact.
One of them might have deployed his emergency chute, or that could have opened accidentally from the force of the collision.
It appears that the two got tangled and were supported by only one chute on their descent.
One of the jumpers died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. The other survived for several hours before succumbing to his injuries.
Russian media report that the deceased skydivers were Oleg Shchelkanov, 47, and Rushan Sibgatullin, 33. The committee said they each had at least 600 hours of skydiving experience.
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