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2 skydivers dead after colliding during Ariz. jump

ELOY, Ariz. — Two skydivers were killed Tuesday after they collided during a jump over southern Arizona, collapsing their parachutes and sending them plummeting to the ground, authorities said.

Witnesses told investigators that both skydivers had open canopies when they ran into each other about 200 to 300 feet above the ground, said Sgt. Brian Jerome, an Eloy police spokesman. Their canopies collapsed and they fell to the ground around 4:50 p.m., Jerome said in a news release.

One of the skydivers was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The other was taken to Casa Grande Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead there.

A third skydiver was injured, but police said the injury "was not related to or caused by" the collision. The injuries were not believed to be serious, Jerome said.

The cause of the collision was under investigation. Police have not yet released names of any of the people who were involved.

The collision occurred at Skydive Arizona, a training facility that operates out of the Eloy Municipal Airport, about 60 miles south of Phoenix. Its website says it's the largest drop zone in the world, for skydivers of all skill levels.

Dozens of women gathered at the site Saturday to break the world record for an all-female mass-formation jump.

Nancy Koreen, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Parachute Association, said 63 women made up the formation, all of them flying upside down with their heads down. The previous record was a 41-woman formation.

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