By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Police are investigating the death of a tourist who was killed on Sunday when she fell from an airborne paraglider above São Conrado beach, in the city’s Zona Sul (South Zone). The victim was 24-year-old Brazilian woman, Priscilla Boliveira, sister of the actor Boliveira Fabricio, who starred in Tropa de Elite 2 (Elite Troop 2).
According to rescue workers, the woman slipped out of the safety harness before falling around 30m to the sand, where she died instantly.
Boliveira was flying with an instructor, Alan Figueiredo who is being investigated for manslaughter and negligence.
Inspector Fabio Barucke told O Globo newspaper, “The first possibility is that some kind of equipment failure occurred, possibly indicating neglect. The second is that the instructor made an error of judgement at the moment he tightened the safety harness.”
Witness testimonies, including that of the instructor himself, say that the safety harness was loose before take off, and that three of the glider’s security buckles were not working.
Boliveira was on holiday in Rio from her home in Salvador when she decided to take part in the popular tourist activity, renowned for affording spectacular views of the city.
This is the second accident to hit the recreational gliding community in Rio this year. The first was in January at Pedra Bonita, when there were no serious injuries.
Every year nearly 23,000 people strap themselves into a hang glider or paraglider in Rio. Initial flights are always done as “tandem” with an instructor.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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