Parabat killed in jump accident


A soldier at the Tempe Military Base in Bloemfontein has been killed during a training exercise.

Police Captain Chaka Marope said the soldier deployed his parachute after he jumped out of an air force plane, but collided with another parachuting soldier during his descent, the SA Press Association reports.
“He fell in the Groenvlei area. The post mortem will determine whether he broke his neck during the collision or during the fall,” he said of the incident yesterday afternoon. “The other soldier managed to get control of his parachute and land it, but he broke his leg.” The cause of the accident was still being investigated, he said.

The military had by 10am yet to issue a statement on the matter.

A gunner of the SA Army Air Defence Artillery died last February when his parachute failed to open during Exercise Young Eagle at De Brug training area in Bloemfontein. The annual army exercise, apparently cancelled this year, is held to train and exercise the SA Army’s airborne and air assault forces to enhance airborne capability and combat readiness.

In another incident, two Military Skills Development Systems trainees undergoing jump instruction at 44 Parachute Regiment were killed in an accident in November 2009. “When the incident happened they were undergoing scheduled static line parachute training as part of their final phase of qualifying them as paratroopers, Brigadier General Marthie Visser said at the time. “An investigation by South African Police (Service) and a Board of Inquiry by South African National Defence Force has been convened.