Woman survives plunging a mile after parachute fails to open

Jane Dalton

A woman cheated death when she fell nearly a mile to the ground after her parachute and emergency back-up apparently both failed to open.

Witnesses who saw her plunge nearly 5000ft to the ground said it was a miracle she wasn’t killed.

She hit a clump of trees, breaking her fall, and escaped with only fractured bones, including broken vertebrae.

Police Quebec in Canada are investigating whether there was any criminal negligence.

After jumping from the plane at a skydiving centre in Trois-Rivieres, the woman escaped with her life by hitting a wooded area.

Denis Demers, who saw her fall, told Radio-Canada: "It’s a miracle. I don’t know how a person can survive a fall from an airplane like that."

He said it appeared that neither the main parachute nor the emergency back-up had opened.

Police told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that the 30-year-old parachutist, who has not yet been identified, was an experienced skydiver.

She was admitted to hospital but her life was not in danger, they said.

Another witness, Oceane Duplessis, said she was getting ready to get on another plane when she saw the woman.

"We watched all the way to the end. We kept hoping something would happen," she said. "We were very worried. Very."

According to Scienceabc.com, a person without a parachute will fall at a typical speed of 120mph or 60 metres (196ft) a second.

The skydive company, which is reported to be investigating, has been contacted for comment.