Schoolgirl, 18, plunges 1,300ft to her death on birthday skydive along with instructor when parachute fails to open as firm insists it wasn’t an accident

Schoolgirl, 18, plunges 1,300ft to her death on birthday skydive along with instructor when parachute fails to open as firm insists it wasn’t an accident

A SCHOOLGIRL plunged 1,300ft to her death on a birthday skydive after her parachute failed to open – and the firm insists their chute isnR

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A SCHOOLGIRL plunged 1,300ft to her death on a birthday skydive after her parachute failed to open – and the firm insists their chute isn’t to blame.

Vanessa Ivonne Melendez Cardenas, 18, died along with her skydive instructor Mauricio Gutierrez Castillo, 34, in Morelos, Mexico on Sunday.

Vanessa Ivonne Melendez Cardenas was celebrating her 18th birthday and decided to celebrate with the 1,300-feet parachute jump over Tequesquitengo
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Vanessa Ivonne Melendez Cardenas was celebrating her 18th birthday and decided to celebrate with the 1,300-feet parachute jump over Tequesquitengo[/caption]

This is the moment high school student Vanessa plunges to her death along with instructor Mauricio Gutiérrez Castillo
El Grafico

This is the moment high school student Vanessa plunges to her death along with instructor Mauricio Gutiérrez Castillo[/caption]

She arrived at the Albatroos Air Sports Club with her loved ones at around 3pm and was keen to celebrate her 18th birthday in style.

Along with a group of others, she was assigned to Mauricio, an experienced instructor with more than 400 jumps under his belt.

The pair boarded a plane, from which they jumped and soared through the skies for at least two minutes, local paper El Grafico reported.

It wasn’t equipment failure


Jorge Gaitan, the director of Albatros Parachuting

In a horrific turnaround of events, the chute speeds towards the ground at around 200km per hour.

In footage shared on local reports, a man can be heard saying: “My God, I hope that Liz come this way,” as other skydivers land.

But moments later he realised ‘Liz’, Vanessa, was not among them.

Emergency services scrambled to the scene at around 3.43pm local time, and found their bodies at the nearby Mexico-Acapulco highway.

Jorge Gaitan, the director of Albatros Parachuting, said the fall was not an accident caused by a malfunction in the equipment.

Instead, he insisted one of the two victims had caused the horrific fall.

He said: “We are investigating, but the parachute was working well.

“Everything seems to indicate that the release of the parachute was not an accident, because it was activated.

“It wasn’t equipment failure or anything like that. It surely had to do with someone who was on that flight, who manipulated and activated the release mechanism.”


The area remains cordoned off by police as they carry out investigations.

Their bodies were taken by the Morelos Prosecutor’s Office.

Vanessa and Mauricio's bodies were found lying metres away from a highway
Vanessa and Mauricio’s bodies were found lying metres away from a highway
la verdad

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