American skydiver dies in Norway crash

NTB/The Local
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A 43-year-old American skydiver died on Wednesday after crashing into the side of a mountain at an extreme sports gathering in Eidfjord, western Norway.


Police said the man’s parachute was fully deployed when the accident took place at around 4pm, newspaper Bergens Tidende reports.

The exact circumstances surrounding the accident are unclear, police said. Officers at the scene recovered the man’s skydiving equipment before a Sea King rescue helicopter arrived from Sola to remove his body from the crash site.

”He had landed in or near a river down in a ravine,” police investigator Ole Jakob Malmo told Bergens Tidende.

According to Arild Tvilde, security coordinator for the Ekstremsportveko festival, the skydiver had jumped from a helicopter with his parachute.

”People have mentioned base-jumping and wingsuit flying. I can confirm that it was neither of these,” said Tvilde.  

”It was what’s known as mountain flying, which involves jumping out over the mountains and flying alongside the mountains and terrain, with a parachute.”

Jan-Erik Wang, head of the skydiving section of the Norwegian Air Sports Federation, said the American skydiver was with a group that had already completed a number of parachute jumps earlier in the day.

“It was a group made up of a few very competent jumpers,” said Wang.

Organizers said the 43-year-old’s death was the first fatal incident in the festival’s 15-year-history. A minute’s silence was observed at the main festival tent on Wednesday evening as a mark of respect.

”Today is an incredibly difficult day, and our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family and friends,” said Thomas Zwartjes, head of the Extreme Voss Foundation.


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