The thesis of equipment failure remains the most plausible to explain the accident which claimed the lives of two parachutists during a tandem jump on Saturday afternoon in Gatineau.
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According to sources familiar with the file, the main parachute was detached by the instructor to activate the reserve parachute which either did not or incorrectly deployed, causing the fatal dive.
“The accident is currently the thesis most strongly considered, but we are continuing our efforts to determine all the causes and exact circumstances of the event”, told the QMI Agency the spokesperson for the Police Department of the City of Gatineau, Andrée East.
A theory that agrees with the statements of another eyewitness to the event.
“Around 13:13, I saw a yellow parachute move away [du tandem] who continued to dive at full speed towards the ground, ”said Shawn Paquette, who was repairing his car a few kilometers from the scene.
The instructor and his client, two men, one in their thirties and the other in their twenties, were killed at the scene of the impact, in an agricultural area north of the Gatineau airport.
In addition to the police investigation, the Bureau du coroner du Québec and the Commission for Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST) will also attempt to determine the exact causes and circumstances surrounding this tragedy.
On Sunday, CNESST inspectors were present at the scene of the tragedy, as well as at the facilities of the GO Skydive company to analyze various elements, including the parachute folding procedures.
According to the general safety regulations of the Canadian Sport Parachuting Association, which is one of its GO Skydive members, the folding of the reserve parachute must have been carried out no later than 180 days before the jump by a rigger holding a valid certification. .
According to its Facebook site, the Gatineau company reopened its doors on May 19 for the summer season. The QMI Agency tried again to communicate with its managers, without success.
The Committee on Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST) does not rule out calling on the expertise of the Canadian Armed Forces to examine the parachutes used during the accident.
The head of the investigation, Jean-Charles Marengère, is also the same who had scrutinized a similar accident that occurred on July 8, 2015, when an instructor from the same company and her client crashed into the ground, avoiding death, but still sustaining serious injuries.
“Each survey is unique. We will have to redo the same procedures one by one, ”however insisted on Alain Trudel, communications manager at the regional office of the CNESST in the Outaouais.
The results of this investigation are expected to be released in about six months.