PEPPERELL -- A 37-year-old Boston man was killed in a skydiving accident at Skydive Pepperell on Sunday morning, but published reports indicate the man's parachute had opened.
The incident occurred about 11:20 a.m., but exactly what happened remained unclear Sunday night. Pepperell police referred all questions to the Middlesex District Attorney's Office, which could not immediately provide details aside from the victim's name.
Daniel Pelrine, 37, of Boston, was killed in the accident, according to Marybeth Long, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Marian Ryan, whose office will investigate the incident because it resulted in a fatality.
NECN reported that Pelrine was an experienced skydiver and that his parachute was open when he landed. Pelrine died of blunt trauma after landing, according to WCVB.
Long said she was unable to confirm those reports because an investigation into the incident remains ongoing.
No one answered telephone calls to Skydive Pepperell, at 167 Nashua Road, on Sunday evening.
There have been accidents at Skydive Pepperell before, but not causing serious injuries recently.
About a dozen jumpers were blown off course by high winds and three suffered minor injuries after landing outside the landing zone in an incident on June 23, 2012.
Two years earlier, in October 2010, another jumper was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after he also missed the landing zone and got caught up in a tree.
Authorities say dying in a skydiving accident remains about as likely as being killed by a bee sting or a lightning strike.
The United States Parachute Association, which tracks sky-diving accidents nationwide, reports there were 24 fatalities in 2013 out of an estimated 3.2 million jumps.
There were 19 fatalities in 2012, 25 in 2011, 21 in 2010, and 16 in 2009, according to statistics published on the USPA's website. There were an estimated 3 million or more total jumps made during each of those years.
Skydive Pepperell has operated in Pepperell since 1991, but prior to the current business taking shape, other sky-diving companies operated at Pepperell Airport since 1971, and noncommercial sky-diving has taken place around the airport since the 1950s, according to Skydive Pepperell's website.
The company is inspected annually by both the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Skydive Pepperell is known less for accidents than it is for charity work, with the company often hosting fundraisers for causes ranging from cancer and Alzheimer's research.