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32 parachuting soldiers hurt, 4 hospitalized in Mississippi

Updated - Military officials are investigating after 32 parachuting soldiers were injured in Mississippi.

Posted: Oct 3, 2019 6:29 AM
Updated: Oct 4, 2019 10:18 AM

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — Military officials are investigating after 32 parachuting soldiers were injured _ four badly enough to require hospitalization _ when 87 jumpers were blown into trees during a night training exercise in Mississippi.

Injuries during training jumps are fairly common, but the scale of this accident is fairly rare, Col. Christopher Landers, commander of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, said during a brief news conference Thursday.

“In my career, I’ve seen about a half-dozen times where this many jumpers end up in the trees,” he said.

He said the last soldier was brought down from the trees about 8 a.m. Thursday but equipment was still being retrieved that afternoon.

All injured soldiers should recover fully, with the most severely injured probably taking about three months, Dr. Duncan Donald, trauma medical director at Forrest General Hospital, told reporters earlier . He said five soldiers had broken vertebrae, but none of them had an injured spinal cord.

The soldiers were among 650 jumping in to open a 10-day training exercise at Camp Shelby, a 134,000-acre (525-square-kilometer) National Guard site that includes a joint forces training center for active and reserve service members, officials said.

Landers said the Army is investigating just what caused the accident. Each similar accident has had a different cause, he said.

Col. Bobby Ginn, post commander for the Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, said 23 soldiers were sent to emergency rooms, and most were sent back to their units or the Camp Shelby clinic.

The brigade combat team is stationed at the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska. A town hall for paratroopers and their families will be held there, Ginn said.

Mississippi National Guard spokeswoman Lt. Col. Deidre Smith said soldiers continued to jump into the drop zone after the injuries, with units trying to account for their members.

“Once all soldiers have been accounted for, our goal is ultimately to continue training,” Smith said in a statement. “Despite the challenges that we currently face, soldiers always place the mission first.”

Smith said the base works to reduce risks associated with airborne operations, with a nearby hospital in Hattiesburg on alert and emergency vehicles on standby at Camp Shelby.

About 3,000 troops from the Alaska base are participating in a 10-day exercise called “Operation Arctic Anvil” in preparation for further training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, starting in January, Landers said.

The Mississippi base is devoted to large-scale training, with convoys of military trucks a common sight on nearby highways and military aircraft frequently seen overhead.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312608

Reported Deaths: 7221
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21429257
Hinds20256414
Harrison17776308
Rankin13539278
Jackson13395246
Madison10051217
Lee9956173
Jones8364163
Forrest7633152
Lauderdale7215240
Lowndes6359144
Lamar620286
Lafayette6162118
Washington5320133
Bolivar4796132
Oktibbeha460398
Panola4545104
Pearl River4495145
Marshall4387103
Warren4368120
Pontotoc419372
Monroe4089133
Union408776
Neshoba4028176
Lincoln3939110
Hancock376686
Leflore3484125
Sunflower335290
Tate331684
Pike3290105
Scott314873
Alcorn310768
Yazoo310269
Itawamba299377
Copiah295865
Coahoma293979
Simpson293788
Tippah287268
Prentiss278560
Marion268680
Leake264973
Wayne262241
Grenada259985
Adams259882
Covington256281
Newton246961
George246748
Winston226981
Tishomingo225067
Jasper220748
Attala214273
Chickasaw207057
Holmes188672
Clay184654
Stone181433
Clarke178179
Tallahatchie177840
Calhoun169532
Yalobusha162936
Smith162034
Walthall133745
Greene130233
Lawrence128223
Noxubee126834
Montgomery126742
Perry126038
Amite123442
Carroll121628
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104626
Claiborne102130
Benton99025
Humphreys96133
Kemper95628
Franklin83323
Quitman79616
Choctaw75818
Wilkinson66830
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 528784

Reported Deaths: 10913
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson762251516
Mobile40864804
Madison34569501
Tuscaloosa25646451
Montgomery24264585
Shelby23355246
Baldwin20993306
Lee15800168
Calhoun14457312
Morgan14250279
Etowah13796352
Marshall12166222
Houston10506280
Elmore10017205
Limestone9935150
Cullman9617193
St. Clair9584237
Lauderdale9397238
DeKalb8813185
Talladega8183175
Walker7205279
Autauga6910107
Jackson6793110
Blount6621135
Colbert6282134
Coffee5491115
Dale4810111
Russell437938
Chilton4244111
Franklin423882
Covington4105117
Tallapoosa4004150
Escambia392675
Chambers3545123
Dallas3536150
Clarke350360
Marion3092100
Pike309177
Lawrence299698
Winston273572
Bibb259763
Marengo248564
Geneva247075
Pickens233559
Barbour230256
Hale221776
Butler215469
Fayette211962
Henry188544
Cherokee183845
Randolph179241
Monroe176240
Washington166839
Macon158649
Clay153356
Crenshaw151657
Cleburne148341
Lamar141234
Lowndes138453
Wilcox126528
Bullock122941
Conecuh110028
Perry107526
Coosa106828
Sumter104132
Greene92234
Choctaw60324
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A frontal system will finally leave our area and high pressure will move into our area gradually overnight and on our Wednesday. This will mean much drier air will replace the moist and unstable air that we have had for the last several days.
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