Two skydivers survive terrifying freefall after their parachutes fail to open

Will Metcalfe

Two skydivers have survived falling to the ground when their parachutes failed them in two completely unrelated incidents in Belgium over the weekend.

Both accidents took place in Belgium, with one 60-year-old man falling from the sky in Oudsbergen while a woman in her fifties crashed in a forest near Spa.

The male parachutist had taken off from the Zwartberg airfield near the city of Genk and was supposed to jump and land safely in a nearby field.

Instructor Marc Calluy of Skydive Flanders said: “What exactly went wrong, we don’t know yet.

“The main parachute opened correctly, but immediately afterwards the reserve parachute also opened. Both became entangled and the man quickly spiralled to the ground.”

The injured parachutist in Oudsbergen, Belgium, being taken away by ambulance after his parachute failed to open.

The 60-year-old man, who has been described as a parachutist with average experience, crashed into a field at high speed.

He was taken to hospital by ambulance with severe injuries, but is not said to be in a life-threatening condition.

The second accident happened to a female instructor who was with a group of 16 experienced parachutists taking off from the Spa-La Sauveniere airfield for a team jump.

When it was time to open her parachute, it reportedly failed to deploy and the woman crashed into a forest where her fall was broken by the high pine trees.

The parachute club at Zwartberg airfield in Genk where a man was taken to hospital after his parachute failed to open.

Moments later, a group of boy scouts passed by and found her.

Boy scout Korneel Vanham said: “I went looking and something suddenly moved. Out of shock, I walked away. Then we discovered that it was a woman who had crashed into the tree.”

Boy scout Louis Ledoux said: “We talked to her the entire time, telling her that it would all turn out fine. Liam held her wrist to check her heartbeat.

“Fifty metres away, we found a part of her parachute. The woman wore a helmet with a GoPro camera, which makes us suspect that she taped her fall. The helmet visor was full of blood.”

“It was a shocking experience, but we are happy that we helped to save her.”

Even before the ambulance arrived two men from the parachute club came to the spot.

Boy scout Ewoud said: “One of them was her boyfriend or partner, he kept repeating her name – Danielle – and begged ‘don’t leave me alone my dear, stay with us’.”

The woman was eventually rushed to hospital and is said to be in a life-threatening condition.

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