Midair collision over Arizona desert kills two skydivers

Police and other first responders investigate the scene where two skydivers were killed Tuesday in Eloy, Ariz. KPNX-TV

Two skydivers were killed Tuesday when they collided over southern Arizona during a multiple-person jump, authorities said.

The skydivers struck one another about 4 p.m. (6 p.m. ET) over the town of Eloy, a popular skydiving location about halfway between Phoenix and Tucson, the Federal Aviation Administration told NBC News on Tuesday night.

Eloy police Sgt. Brian Jerome said they collided only about 200 feet from the ground, collapsing their parachutes and sending them plummeting to the earth. One was dead at the scene, and the second died at a hospital, Jerome said.

A third person who was in the group was airlifted to a Phoenix hospital, where no condition was immediately reported. That person wasn't involved in the collision, said Jerome, who said police reconstructed the incident from accounts by witnesses, some of whom too part in the jump themselves.

None of the skydivers was identified, but Jerome said the two who were killed weren't from the U.S.

Eloy is a mecca for skydivers from around the world. Just three days ago, it was the scene of a landmark jump when 63 women from at least eight nations joined hands and dived head-first, breaking the female vertical formation skydiving record.

The accident also comes a few weeks after nine skydivers and both pilots survived when their two planes collided over Superior, Wis., on Nov. 2.

The collision happened at Skydive Arizona, a training facility that operates out of the Eloy Municipal Airport. Their website says it's the largest drop zone in the world, for skydivers of all skill levels. 

Sossy Dombourian of NBC News contributed to this report.

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