Mexican Girl Falls To Her Death From Plane While Skydiving On Her 18th Birthday
A young schoolgirl has tragically fallen to her death
from a plane while she was trying to skydive on her
Vanessa Ivonne Melendez Cardenas was celebrating
her 18th birthday with the 1,300ft parachute jump in
A schoolgirl girl plunged 1,300ft to her death on a
birthday skydive after her parachute failed to open -
and the operator insists its chute wasn't to blame.
Vanessa Ivonne Melendez Cardenas, 18, died along
with instructor Mauricio Gutierrez Castillo, 34, in
Morelos, Mexico on Sunday.
She arrived at the Albatroos Air Sports Club with her
loved ones at around 3pm and was keen to
celebrate her 18th birthday in style.
Along with a group of others, she was assigned to
Mauricio, an experienced instructor with more than
400 jumps under his belt.
The pair boarded a plane, from which they jumped
and soared through the skies for at least two
minutes, local paper El Grafico reported.
In footage shared on local reports, a man can be
heard saying: "My God, I hope that Liz come this
way," as other skydivers land.
This is the moment high school student Vanessa
plunged to her death along with instructor Mauricio
But moments later he realised "Liz", Vanessa, was
not among them.
Emergency services scrambled to the scene at
around 3.43pm local time, and found two bodies
near the Mexico-Acapulco highway.
Jorge Gaitan, director of Albatros Parachuting, said
the fall was not an accident caused by a malfunction
in the equipment.
Instead, he insisted one of the two victims had
caused the horrific fall.
He said: "We are investigating, but the parachute
was working well.
"Everything seems to indicate that the release of the
parachute was not an accident, because it was
"It wasn't equipment failure or anything like that. It
surely had to do with someone who was on that
flight, who manipulated and activated the release
Vanessa and Mauricio's bodies were found lying
metres away from a highway
The skydiving company said the parachute's release
was activated at an altitude where "it was
impossible for the parachute to respond".
Gaitan added: "That doesn't end up happening by
accident: it is caused by a human.
"We are in those investigations. We still do not know
The area remains cordoned off by police as they
carry out investigations.