Chennai: A 26-year-old woman sky diver died after plunging to the earth from an altitude of around 10,000 ft when her parachute malfunctioned during a training session near Salem in Tamil Nadu, said an official.
The Salem police have taken into custody four of her team members.
Ramya, member of the Bangalore-based Indian Skydiving and Parachute Association (ISPA), jumped off a small aircraft during a skydiving training session near an unused airstrip in Salem, around 365 km from here.
She was here along with her husband Vinod and other members of the association for practice.
When Ramya pulled the trigger, the parachute did not open. The reserve/emergency chute too did not open when she tried to open it.
To the horror of Vinod and other members, she plummeted through the sky, falling on an agricultural land.
"The villagers and the association members took Ramya to the nearby hospital where the doctors declared her dead," Mettur Sub-Divisional Magistrate Anish Sekhar told IANS over phone.
He said an investigation is on as to why the parachute malfunctioned.
The ISPA had obtained permission for 10 days from the authorities to carry out training jumps at the Kamalapuram airstrip, around 24 km from Salem.
"The team has been training since Jan 25. On Jan 25, Ramya jumped successfully from 3,500 ft. And today (Thursday) the jump was from 10,000 feet," Salem's Deputy Superintendent of Police R. Sakthivel told IANS over phone.
Sakthivel said Vinod said they saw the ISPA's advertisement and joined the session and had no previous skydiving experience.
"There seems to be a case of negligence. No proper emergency medical facility was there at the training site. There was no ambulance vehicle," he said.
He said four people have been taken into custody. They are Ankita, the executive secretary of ISPA; G.Mohana Rao, trainer and former Indian Navy officer; Aishwarya Yadav, trainer; and N.Rajesh, a serving navy officer from Madurai.
Sakthivel said Ankita will be remanded in custody.
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