Soldier Injured after Parachute Failed to Deploy

FILE PHOTO -- A Military Free Fall Parachutist Course student prepares to land in the Yuma, Ariz. desert during a training jump in April 2011. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo)
FILE PHOTO -- A Military Free Fall Parachutist Course student prepares to land in the Yuma, Ariz. desert during a training jump in April 2011. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo)

HAMILTON, Mont. — A soldier was injured during a U.S. Army Special Operations parachute training exercise in western Montana.

Sixteen soldiers were conducting a free-fall parachute jump from two Blackhawk helicopters near Hamilton on Monday when one soldier had an equipment malfunction and was forced to land in a residential area, said a spokeswoman for the Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Hamilton businessman Tony Dees said he watched as a group of parachutists jumped from two Blackhawk helicopters, and saw one parachute was tangled up.

"He went straight down like a dropped pencil, Dees told the Ravalli Republic. "It happened really fast."

Hamilton Police Chief Ryan Oster said the soldier was picked up by a helicopter that landed on the street shortly after the accident.

Army officials say the soldier was being treated at a hospital in Missoula. The extent of the injuries and the name and hometown of the soldier were not released.

The injured soldier was participating in military free-fall training scheduled from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4 in the Bitterroot National Forest and Ravalli County, Army officials said in a statement.

Show Full Article