Friday 9 December 2016

Defence Forces member rushed to hospital following incident during skydive

Cathal McMahon and Tom Brady

Published 14/10/2016 | 17:28

Custume Barracks, Athlone
Custume Barracks, Athlone

A member of the Defence Forces was rushed to hospital after he suffered injuries during a skydiving exercise on Friday afternoon.

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Independent.ie has learned that the male soldier suffered what has been described as a "hard landing" during the routine exercise at Custume Barracks Athlone at 12 noon.

It is understood that his parachute did open during the skydive.

The gentleman was rushed to Tallaght Hospital this afternoon after the incident. 

He is described as being in a 'critical but stable condition'. Defence Forces said he is responsive to treatment.

The incident occurred at approximately noon today.

Further details about the name and rank of the soldier have not been released.

He was treated by a doctor at the site before an air ambulance based in Athlone transferred him to Tallaght Hospital.

A spokesperson for the Defence Forces said: "We can confirm that a member was injured during a routine training exercise in Custume Barracks Athlone this afternoon.

"He was transferred by ambulance to Tallaght Hospital where he is responsive to treatment."

It is understood a number of other Defence Forces personnel were also taking part in the exercise.

Sources told Independent.ie that the incident will now be investigated by the Defence Forces and the Health and Safety Authority.

Defence Minister Paul Kehoe spoke to the army’s chief of staff about the incident on Friday evening.

“My thoughts are with the corporal and his family and I have asked for full details of what is a terrible incident,” he said.

It’s understood the full safety precautions were in place.

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