Three killed in skydiving accident at Mission Beach, Queensland

Two men and a woman are dead in a mid-air collision between tandem and single skydivers at Mission Beach in north Queensland.

One of them was an experienced skydiving instructor who had completed thousands of jumps.

The three people have been identified as Kerri Pike, 54, and instructors Peter Dawson, 35 and Toby Turner, 34.

Paramedics and police were called to Mission Beach, a popular skydiving spot about 140km (87 miles) south of Cairns.

Two men in their 30s, and a woman in her 50s, were found dead at the scene, Queensland police said in a statement. The man, in his 30s, was found in a backyard at Mission Beach while the other two were found in a nearby tree.

Queensland’s ambulance service told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that one skydiver was found in the garden of a residence, and the other two were found close by.

Police believe the solo skydiver may have collided with the tandem skydivers in mid-air, with their parachutes failing to open properly.

“It’s horrible news for the families and the thoughts of the council and the residents go to all those concerned and the families of those that have been killed” Cassowary Coast Mayor John Kremastos was reported as saying by ABC.

“We are very, very saddened to hear about this news and right now I feel quite gutted actually,” he said.