Woman, 23, plunges to her death in France as parachute fails to open while skydiving

"The impact with the ground was very violent," said an eyewitness.

Irwan Shah | May 20, 2022, 07:04 PM

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A 23-year-old policewoman, Romane Hourcastagnou, died after plunging to the ground from about 3,300 feet (1,000m) during a skydiving activity on May 6, 2022, in Strasbourg, France.

The Mirror reported that she was an experienced skydiver who had clocked over 100 jumps.

What happened?

Hourcastagnou took off to the skies with 10 others, all experienced skydivers, at 8:25pm reported the Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace (DNA).

The aircraft dropped them over the landing zone, at the height of about 1,000m and the first part of the free fall went without a hitch.

However, her parachute did not open afterwards and she failed to do an emergency manoeuvre due to the momentum and height of her fall, causing her to plunge to the ground in seconds, according to witnesses.

Skydivers who were at the scene tried to assist Hourcastagnou but she was already gone by then, reported The Mirror.

"We watched the accident with total helplessness," said an eyewitness to local media.

"After her parachute did not open, the impact with the ground was very violent."

Emergency workers, who were called to the scene, confirmed her death. Hourcastagnou's body was then transported to a local morgue and the local authorities are investigating the case.

Fundraiser for Hourcastagnou's family

An online fundraiser for her family was announced on a Facebook post by l’Union des policiers nationaux indépendants (UPNI), an association for the defence of French police personnel's interests.

Screenshot from Collectif National - UPNI Facebook post.

The post in French translates:


Originally from the Strasbourg region, Romane was posted at the Saint Ouen police station.

Regularly and for the past year, she has been skydiving in Alsace. She had a hundred (jumps) to her credit.

Last night, with her skydiving friends, she wanted to have fun.

Her parachute was faulty and did not open. The backup procedure failed.

The 1000 meter fall was fatal.

The horror...

Our sister was 23 years old.

We send our thoughts of support to her loved ones, friends and colleagues in #grief.

A total of 372 donors have raised 10,500 euros (S$15,300) for Hourcastagnou's family as of May 20, 2022, and the fundraiser will continue for another 32 days.

The late policewoman's funeral was held on May 18, 2022, and she was buried in the Polygone cemetery.

Top photo from Collectif National - UPNI Facebook post / Centre Ecole Régional de Parachutisme - Alsace Facebook page