The body of a skydiver has been found in a residential yard in far north Queensland, with two more bodies found nearby after a mid-air collision caused their parachutes to fail.
Police said initial investigations indicated a solo skydiver collided with a tandem skydiving pair over Mission Beach, about 110 kilometres south-east of Cairns, just after 3pm on Friday.
Senior Sergeant Peter Williamson described the scene as "horrific", with the bodies of two male skydiving professionals, aged 34 and 35, as well as a local 54-year-old woman found near Alexander Drive.
“It’s a horrific scene, an unfortunate scene and there’s going to be a lot of families very upset as a result of this," Senior Sergeant Williamson said.
“Any accident involving skydivers is not good for anyone.
"This will have a huge effect on tourism and everyone knows Mission Beach runs on tourism."
Skydive Australia, which has its headquarters in Wollongong, has issued a statement in the wake of the incident.
‘’One of the deceased, a highly experienced instructor who had completed thousands of jumps, was completing a solo jump.
‘’The other two were jumping as a tandem pair: a highly experienced instructor and a customer.
‘’Skydiving operations have been suspended at Mission Beach while the appropriate authorities conduct an extensive investigation.
‘’The company extends its deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the individuals and families involved and the broader skydiving community.’’
Emergency services have described the incident as "an accident", with the Queensland Police Service leading the investigation and being assisted by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and Australian Parachute Federation.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.