SA-born man held in UK after wife’s parachute fall

2015-05-11 13:00
Emile Cilliers (Twitter)

Emile Cilliers (Twitter)

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London - A South African-born man has been arrested by British police for attempted murder after his wife’s parachute failed to open during a routine skydive.

Sergeant Emile Cilliers, 35, was taken in for questioning by Wiltshire police last week after his wife Victoria fell more than 1 200m on April 5, the Press Association reported.

Victoria, an experienced parachutist, “miraculously survived” the fall but sustained serious injuries after her main parachute failed to deploy, while her reserve parachute also failed but opened just enough to slow her descent from a fatal velocity.

Cilliers, an instructor with the British Royal Army Physical Training Corps attached to the Royal Engineers, was arrested and released on bail last week, The Guardian reported.

The newspaper quoted detectives as saying that “slinks” or soft links used to connect the canopy and the parachute harness were missing.  

Meanwhile, the UK's Daily Mail revealed that Victoria had given birth to a son just five weeks before her near-fatal fall.  

It also quoted a source close to her parachute club as saying that Victoria was lucky to have landed in a freshly ploughed field.

The Mail said Cilliers had apparently not been living at the family home in recent weeks after moving out with their children.

A family friend told the newspaper that Cilliers and his wife “are not allowed to communicate”.

Read more on:    uk  |  crime

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