A 53-year-old man fell to his death while paragliding in Coimbatore on Sunday, according to a report in The Hindu. The incident took place on the CODISSIA Grounds around noon, seconds after the victim had been given a lift into the air by a mini-load van.
Malleswara Rao, a businessman from KTVR Residency at Duraisamy Layout in Peelamedu, had paid Rs 500 to participate in a parasailing festival organised by Coimbatore Medical College to celebrate its Golden Jubilee. The News Minute reported the college had partnered with the Indian Aerospace Science Club to run the event. It was open to anyone between the ages of 12 and 60 who could clear a health-check and pay a fee of Rs 500.
On a day with heavy wind blowing all over, onlookers gathered to see Rao take off and then begin to struggle within moments of being airborne. Two people on the ground wondered why his safety belt was not attached to his gear. Several others sensed something wrong and began running towards him.
In about 53 seconds, Rao, who was struggling to hold on to the rope, lost his grip and fell to the earth with a thud. Although a crowd ran over in a desperate attempt to catch him, he hit the ground falling and ended up with multiple fractures. He was rushed to a private hospital in the same mini-van that had propelled him to the skies but the doctors declared he had been brought dead.
Rao, who is survived by his wife and a son and a daughter, is the second adventure sport enthusiast to have died in action in Tamil Nadu in recent times. On 31 January 2014, a 26-year-old from Bengaluru called Ramya crash-landed from a height of about 10,000 feet due to parachute malfunction at Omalur in Salem district, the Hindu added.
The organisers have been blamed of inadequate security measures, including the failure to keep a doctor and an ambulance handy at the spot of the adventure sport. Acting on a complaint from Rao's wife, in which she named the organisers of the event, the police registered a case against them under Section 304(A) of the Indian Penal Code.
NDTV posted a video footage of the disturbing incident. Viewers discretion is recommended.
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