Paratrooper in Critical Condition after Chutes Fail to Open

A 26 year-old soldier remains in a critical condition this evening after his parachute failed to open during a jump early this morning, May 17.

Commander Chin Liang-feng of the Taiwan ROC Army’s Aviation and Special Forces Command jumped from a C-130 airplane at 1,300 feet, during a practice session for the upcoming Han Kuang military exercises, at around 6:00am this morning, over the Chingchuankang Air Force Base in Taichung City.

Chin’s main chute failed to open completely, sending the paratrooper plummeting toward the ground. Video footage of the incident shows that Chin deployed his emergency chute, but it too, failed to open.

Chin landed in a grassy area of the air base and suffered a range of injuries concentrated on the upper part of his body.

Chin lost vital signs and had no heartbeat when he arrived at the emergency department of Tungs’ Taichung Metro Harbor Hospital. However, heartbeat was restored, and Chin’s condition improved from a Glascow Coma Index of 3, to 7, according to Dr Lu Li-hua (盧立華), head of the hospital’s emergency department.

After four hours of treatment, Chin had responded to sounds, Dr Lu said. However, Chin is not yet out of danger.

According to media reports in Taiwan’s Chinese language media, including Liberty Times Network, Chin joined the army in 2015, and today’s jump was Chin’s 11th.

The paratroopers were expected to land 60 seconds after their parachutes opened in the low-altitude, static line drop, but Chin hit the ground in just 26 seconds.

The cause of the accident is yet to be clarified. The Ministry of National Defense has ordered an investigation into the incident.

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