Two Parachutists Injured in Mid-Air Collision at Chicago Air and Water Show

Chicago fire officials said one of the parachutists landed on the beach and the other landed at 1400 North Lake Shore Drive

Two parachutists were injured at the Chicago Air and Water Show Saturday when they collided mid-air while performing a stunt in front of hundreds of spectators.

Chicago fire officials said one of the parachutists landed on the beach and the other landed at 1400 North Lake Shore Drive, near the main viewing area for the show.

Both were transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, according to Fire Department spokesman Juan Hernandez.

One of the parachutists, who was part of the Army Golden Knights, was in critical condition and underwent surgery on Saturday, according to Donna Dixon, a spokesperson for the Golden Knights. Dixon said the Golden Knight is in his late 20s and has been with the group for four years.

The other parachutist, a member of the Navy Leap Frogs, broke his leg and was expected to be released Saturday.

The groups were performing a "bomb burst" movement, in which they circle each other in the air separated by red smoke. During the stunt, the men collided, Dixon said.

Hernandez said witnesses told first responders that at least one of the parachutists collided with a building in the lakefront Gold Coast neighborhood, but the Fire Department had not confirmed whether that was the case.

Spectator Heather Mendenhall, who was watching the show from the top of her 22-story condo building, said she saw one of the parachutists clip the roof next door with his feet and fall, with his parachute trailing behind him.

"We noticed one of the parachutes was way off to the side," Mendenhall said. "It looked like he was going to land on our building. We saw him actually, his legs clipped the top of our building and he fell to the ground."

Mendenhall said he looked unconscious as he hit the roof. A maintenance worker on the same roof called paramedics, she said.

"He didn't look like he was conscious," Mendenhall said. "He looked like a dummy actually because he didn't look like he was awake."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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