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Skydiver killed in second tragedy

One skydiver has died and another is in a critical condition after an accident above southern California - just two weeks after a pair of experienced skydivers collided and plunged to their deaths in a similar tragedy in the same area.

The latest incident occurred when the jumpers' parachutes collided and got entangled about 200ft above the ground on Friday, just a day before a memorial jump to honour the victims of the previous crash, Perris Valley Skydiving manager Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld said.

"In both of these situations, it was two very experienced people on days when there was hardly any other people in the air," he said. "And somehow they lost track of each other and ran into each other. It's dumbfounding to us."

Both victims in Friday's accident had performed hundreds of jumps each, Mr Brodsky-Chenfeld said.

He said he was shocked and upset that another tragic accident had occurred.

"The only thing we can put it on is a certain degree of complacency or lack of awareness in one or both of them," he said. "It's like getting in a car wreck when there's only two cars on the road."

Both men were taken to a hospital by ambulance - one died at the hospital and the other remains critical. The surviving skydiver has undergone emergency surgery for severe injuries to his head and chest.

Two skydiving instructors were killed on March 31 when they collided over Perris Valley Airport and their parachutes deflated about 300ft in the air.

Saturday's a planned memorial jump - known as an ash dive - will continue as scheduled.

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From Belfast Telegraph