Nirmal Purja involved in fatal parachute accident

Nirmal Purja
Nirmal Purja (© Stefan Voitl / Red Bull Content Pool)

Nepal’s mountaineering star Nirmal, called ” Nims” Purja has escaped with his life in a serious parachute accident near the Spanish city of Seville. According to coinciding Spanish media reports, a 36-year-old fellow skydiver of Purja was killed in the accident on Friday.

The experienced skydiver, a soldier from the British special forces, had made a sport jump together with Purja from a height of around 4,500 meters, the Spanish news agency EFE reported. In freefall, the two first successfully completed some formation exercises and then opened their parachutes, it said. At around 1,000 meters, the two parachutes got tangled up.

Cut off and reserve parachute released

Nirmal Purja let it be known today via Instagram that the Briton flew towards him from above at an angle of 45 degrees. Then the parachute of the Briton collapsed and got caught in Purja’s lines: “This action sent us both into a severe spin and increased our fall rate dramatically. At this point I had no option but to cut away and pull my reserve, releasing me from the entanglement.” The British skydiver was not able to do this rescue maneuver. He hit the ground unbraked. According to Nims, he ran to his friend immediately after landing.

“I conducted lifesaving treatment but unfortunately due to the severity of his injuries I was unable to resuscitate him,” Purja let it be known. He was “devastated,” the 39-year-old Nepalese said. “We had been training together in Spain for the last week.”

Paragliding accident on Manaslu

Nirmal taking off with a paraglider on a glacier in the Karakoram
Nirmal with a paraglider on a glacier in the Karakoram

Less than a month ago, Nims had suffered a minor injury in a paragliding accident in Nepal. Attempting to take off from the base camp at the foot of the eight-thousander Manaslu, he had struck a rock, the Himalayan Times reported at the time.

In Nepal, Purja has been the superstar of the local mountaineering scene since he ticked off all 14 eight-thousanders within six months and six days in 2019 – with a strong Nepalese team behind him, with bottled oxygen and the use of helicopters to get from base camp to base camp as quickly as possible.

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