A 53-year-old man paragliding in Coimbatore's CODISSIA Grounds fell to his death on Sunday less than a minute after he took to air. The organisers of the event allegedly forgot to fasten Malleswara Rao's belt.
Rao, a resident of Peelamedu area of the city, was the second person to try out the adventure sport on Sunday. His rope was fastened to a mini-load van that would have helped make him airborne. He reportedly fell from a height of 100 feet.
After being airborne, Rao lost grip of his protective gear and scrambled to keep himself tied to it. The crowd, guessing that something was wrong, tried to catch him as he fell, but they were not successful. Rao was taken to the hospital where he was declared brought dead. He endured serious injuries to his skull, spine, hip, knee and ribs, the Hindu reported.
Rao's wife, Padmasri, registered a case against the two organisers under Section 304(A) of the Indian Penal Code.
Other paragliding enthusiasts who had gathered at the venue were left shocked and wondering about their safety. A couple who was present there acknowledged that the incident could have happened to any of them. Another man said that the place, which was close to the airport, was not right for an adventure sport.
People using air space close to the airport need to take permission from the Airport Authority of India, said G. Prakash Reddy, the Director of the Coimbatore International Airport.
For adventure sports on air they should obtain permission from the Director General of Civil Aviation, Delhi," he said.
This is not the first time that an adventure sport-related mishap happened in Tamil Nadu. In 2014, a 26-year-old woman from Bengaluru had crashed to the ground from 10,000 feet after her parachute malfunctioned.