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Balikatan accident: Pinoy soldier dies in parachute jump

A member of the Philippine contingent in the Balikatan 2016 joint military exercise with the United States was killed Thursday during a jump exercise in one of the training activities.

Capt. Celeste Frank Sayson, public affairs officer for the Philippines in the joint Balikatan exercise, said the victim held the rank of Airman 2nd Class and was assigned to the 710th Special Operations Wing of the Philippine Air Force.

The accident happened at around 3:45 p.m. on Thursday in the area of the Subic airport.

Sayson said the airman was part of a proficiency parachute jump exercise among Filipino and American personnel.

Twenty Filipino paratroopers from the 710th SPOW took part, with the Subic Bay International Airport in Zambales as the drop zone.

The victim was among the first 10 jumpers who leapt from a Lockheed C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft.

The airman, however, was dragged by strong winds and landed in the water which had a depth of 30 feet.

“The airman was recovered by a pre-positioned protection team from the Philippines and United States at the drop zone after a 15-minute rescue and recovery operation,” Sayson said.

Recovery took place at around 4:55 p.m. and the victim was given first aid in an attempt to revive him, to no avail.

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