PERKASIE, Pa. --Perkasie Police and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating a skydiving accident in Perkasie, Bucks County that has left two people hospitalized.
The plane, operated by Skydive Philadelphia, took off from Pennridge Airport around 11:00 Tuesday morning.
First time jumper Obataiye Samuel, 37, of Philadelphia and veteran instructor Robert Mandic, 41, of Hilltown were tandem skydiving when something went terribly wrong.
The Federal Aviation Administration says their parachute apparently malfunctioned, and they fell onto the grounds of the nearby Guth Elementary School, located at 601 North 7th Street.
They landed about 20 feet in front of the custodian on his lawn mower. He notified the principal and she and the school nurse ran to help as another staffer called 911.
The principal, Pricilla Ponist, tells us, "They were moaning. They were somewhat conscious - you could see that there was some kind of trauma there."
One of the men had a bone protruding from his ankle, the other had trouble moving his legs, and both were bleeding from the mouth.
But they were alive and conscious asking for water.
Samuel was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital, while Mandic was flown to Temple University Hospital. Both are reportedly in stable condition, having suffered multiple injuries.
The school principal says children attending summer classes at the elementary school had just left the grounds from recess when the accident occurred.
"We did a shelter in place because we have summer school going on in the building, and fortunately the kids were not outside. So we did a shelter in place so that the kids would not see any of this," Ponist explained.
The instructor, Mandic, had a record of 4,900 successful jumps.
The manager of Skydive Philadelphia says any number of things could have gone wrong, and that it will be a while before they know exactly what happened.
The incident remains under investigating.