By Lucia Suarez Sang
Published September 11, 2019
Coconino County sheriff’s officials said they were called Sunday to the Grand Canyon National Park Airport after receiving a report of two men injured after skydiving in tandem.
First responders found Christopher Swales unconscious at the scene and, despite life-saving efforts there, he later died at Flagstaff Medical Center, officials said.
The other person – an unidentified employee with the Paragon Skydiving company – suffered a broken leg.
The sheriff’s office said Swales had purchased a skydiving package and the dive was going as planned until the pair approached the landing area.
The pair were free-falling before hitting the ground, authorities said, though it was not immediately clear for how long.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident.
A spokesman for the FAA told the Arizona Republic that they will investigate whether the parachutes were properly installed and whether the instructor had the required experience and credentials for a tandem jump. He did not offer any additional details about the incident.
Coconino County sheriff's officials said in a statement that "there are no indications that the incident is criminal in nature."
The Grand Canyon National Park Airport is located in Tusayan, Arizona, about 15 minutes from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.