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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 April, 2004, 18:38 GMT 19:38 UK
Tourist hurt in paraglider crash
Vincent Pallotti Hospital
Miss Miller is being treated at the Vincent Pallotti Hospital
A tourist from Tyneside has suffered spinal injuries after crashing into a South African mountain while paragliding.

Diane Miller, 34, from Newcastle, was taking a tandem flight on Monday when she ran into cliffs in the Overberg Mountains in the Western Cape.

She was left dangling from a ledge after her glider collapsed, while rescuers were scrambled to the scene.

Miss Miller was airlifted to hospital after the four-hour rescue operation.

A spokeswoman for the Vincent Pallotti Hospital in Cape Town, where Miss Miller is being treated, said: "She's quite happy and is bearing up.

'Very upset'

"She's doing fine. She has fractured her right leg and fractured her right ankle and has spinal injuries."

She said Miss Miller's boyfriend was at her bedside.

Miss Miller was taking the flight with veteran instructor Rob de Villiers Roux, when their two-man canopy hit the side of the mountain.

Mr de Villiers Roux, who escaped uninjured, told BBC Radio Newcastle: "I feel really bad about it. I'm very upset."

"The glider swung in to the cliff and we had to hang on until help came.

"Then a helicopter came. It took four hours to be rescued."

Mr de Villiers Roux, whose has been paragliding for more than 15 years and who works for a company called The A Team, added: "I was holding on to the cliff.

"One of my partners came down and called an ambulance. She was conscious, but in a lot of pain."

The accident happened at the popular Hermanus launch site, 80 miles east of Cape Town.




SEE ALSO:
Paraglider crashes into mountain
18 Feb 04  |  Scotland
Concerns over paragliding plan
15 Feb 04  |  Shropshire
Smoke causes paraglider to crash
23 Mar 03  |  England


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