A woman in Canada has survived a fall of nearly a mile after her parachute failed to open.

The 30-year-old has not yet been named but witnesses described seeing her plunge more than 4,900ft (1,500m) to the ground and crashing into trees.

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The incident happened on 10 August at a skydiving centre in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.

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Witness Denis Demers told Radio-Canada he saw the woman falling: “It’s a miracle. I don’t know how a person can survive a fall from an airplane like that.”

He said it appeared that neither the main parachute nor the emergency back-up had opened.

Local police told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that the woman was an experienced skydiver but that her life is not in danger. She was admitted to hospital with several fractures, including broken vertebrae.

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Another witness, Oceane Duplessis, told CBC she was getting ready to get on another plane when she saw the woman.

“We watched all the way to the end. We kept hoping something would happen,” she said. “We were very worried. Very.”

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Police are investigating to see if there was any criminal negligence.

The company involved is investigating the cause of the incident and has so far not commented.

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