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Failed Skydive in Wiltshire, U.K., Prompts Cops to Launch Murder Investigation

A man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in Netheravon Airfield, U.K., after a woman almost died when her chute was allegedly compromised.

LONDON — A 35-year-old man in Britain has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after an experienced skydiver was almost killed when her parachute failed, police said Friday.

The 39-year-old woman sustained "multiple serious injuries" after her main chute failed and her reserve only deployed partially during the 4,000-foot jump, police said in a statement.

Police said the woman had "plunged to the ground" at Netheravon Airfield, in the southwestern county of Wiltshire, on Sunday afternoon. The club contacted the authorities because they had "concerns about the parachute deployment," Wiltshire Police said in a statement.

Officers investigating the case said slinks — small fastenings that connect the skydiver with their parachute when it deploys — were missing from the woman's equipment. They have appealed for members of the club to come forward with information.

"This woman would have been dead if her chute hadn't partially opened," Detective Inspector Paul Franklin said. "This woman survived this fall miraculously, but despite her experience she very nearly lost her life."

The woman was hospitalized and has since been discharged with multiple fractures throughout her body, police said. The suspect has since been bailed. Neither were identified by officials.

— Alexander Smith