Thursday, April 7, 2016

Filipino parachutist killed in jumping accident in 'Balikatan'

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 7): Filipino parachutist killed in jumping accident in 'Balikatan'

A Filipino parachutist drowned after he was accidentally blown towards the waters near the Subic Airport in Zambales on Thursday afternoon.

The incident took place at 3:45 p.m. as American and Filipino soldiers were conducting a proficiency parachute jump exercise, said Philippine "Balikatan" public affairs office chief Capt. Celeste Frank Sayson.

He said the victim was a member of the 710th Special Operations Wing of the Philippine Air Force.

Sayson said the victim was blown by strong winds towards the water.

"The soldier was quickly recovered by pre-positioned force protection team from Philippine and US at the said drop zone which lasted to 15 minutes of rescue and recovery," he added.

Sayson said the Filipino trooper was declared dead at 5: 25 p.m. at the nearby Unihealth Hospital.

He declined to identify the fatality pending notification of the latter's next-of-kin.

"We withheld name of the Filipino soldier for his family's concern, although Balikatan 2016 leadership is on the process of informing them. All details will follow as soon as we obtained it," Sayson stressed.

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