Skydivers die after midair collision

AFP-JIJI

U.S. police on Wednesday identified two skydivers who died after colliding in midair during a record jump attempt as a Briton and a German, both described as “highly experienced.”

The men, taking part in a jump involving some 200 people in Arizona on Tuesday, were named as Briton Keiron O’Rourke, 40, and Bernd Schmehl, 51, of Germany. Their parachute canopies collapsed when they collided as they floated down less than 100 meters from the ground, said police in Eloy.

Schmehl had made more than 1,700 jumps, including 80 in the last six months, and O’Rourke had jumped nearly 850 times, including 100 in the last half-year, according to the police.