Army Parachute Bundle Falls onto School Campus in Hawaii during Recess

Air-dropped pallets drift over the Kirsten Drop Zone at the Baumholder Military Training Area June 18, 2014. (U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. April Tessmer)
FILE PHOTO -- Air-dropped pallets drift over the Kirsten Drop Zone at the Baumholder Military Training Area June 18, 2014. (U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. April Tessmer)

An 80- to 90-pound bundle, dropped by parachute from an Army Black Hawk helicopter, mistakenly landed at noon Thursday on the campus of Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate School.

The bundle of batteries and a tent was found at the school, about 100 to 200 yards from its intended target at Marine Corps Training Area Bellows, an Army spokesman said.

The 25th Infantry Division UH-60 Black Hawk was involved in a training course when the parachute deployed and the bundle "drifted to the ground," Lt. Col. Curtis Kellogg said.

"When they calculate release points, they take into consideration meteorological data -- wind patterns and things of that nature," he said.

Police secured it and returned it to the Army.

Waimanalo Neighborhood Board member Kukana Kama-Toth said two of her children attend the school, and they said it landed during their recess on the elementary side of the school.

She said the children ran to see what it was.

"If that thing had blown further onto the property, it could have landed on somebody," she said.

She cited the 2015 fatal crash of an Osprey that killed two Marines during training at Bellows.

"All these different things that get pretty close to our town," she said.

Kama-Toth and other residents oppose the military training at Bellows. They have started a petition to ask that training not be held at Bellows. Fire training is audible during school and until 10 p.m., she said.

"It's an issue that really needs to be dealt with," she said.

Kellogg said, "We will do things we need to do to minimize something ever happening again."

"Every training event incorporates multiple safety and contingency steps to minimize risk and help safeguard members of the community," the Army said in a written statement.

"The circumstances surrounding this incident are under review to learn and do everything possible to prevent this from happening again in the future."

This article is written by Leila Fujimori from The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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