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Skydiving instructor dead following tandem jump near Houston

The teacher was engaged in the jump with a student who was critically injured when the pair struck the ground.

A skydiving instructor was dead and his student remained hospitalized following a tandem jump incident Saturday outside Houston.

The business Skydive Houston, about 40 miles outside Houston, said in a statement Sunday that its instructor, whose name was not revealed, had died at a hospital after the 12:30 p.m. incident Saturday.

The student, an unidentified woman, "is reported to be suffering from serious, but non-life-threatening injuries at this time," the Waller, Texas, business said.

Waller County Sheriff Troy Guidry said in a statement Saturday that a “chute didn’t open or collapsed somewhere through the fall."

Each skydiver, found breathing, was taken to a trauma center by helicopter, he said. Both were initially reported to be in critical condition, the sheriff said.

Witness Alex Arias, who lives near the incident, told NBC affiliate KPRC of Houston at least one canopy didn't fully deploy during the tandem jump.

“He let off his primary, and then the secondary chute, like, opened halfway up, so he didn’t fall like a straight fall. He was, like, 50 percent chute, like a corkscrew,” he said.

When he arrived to help, Arias said, the woman was awake and asking for help. The instructor, he said, was unconscious.

Guidry said he could recall no problems or accidents at Skydive Houston in the past. The business says on its website that it has a “perfect 100% safety record” and over 50,000 jumps with no injuries.

On Sunday it said that it was closed and that local law enforcement and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating.

"Skydive Houston has an excellent safety record, and significant injuries associated with tandem skydiving are extremely rare," it said.

The business said it was deeply saddened by the instructor's death and is praying for the student's full recovery.