US paratroopers injured after botched night jump

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Several US paratroopers were injured in a botched night parachute exercise in Mississippi Wednesday, local media reported.

The troops from the 4th Infantry Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division were conducting an evening parachute jump above Camp Shelby when they were blown off target into trees, camp commander Colonel Bobby Ginn told a local TV network.

At least 22 soldiers were hurt in the exercise, John Pennell, chief of media relations for the US Army Alaska, told local media.

"At this time we're tracking 22 injuries with 15 treated by medics in the field and seven transported to local hospitals," he told WDAM-TV.

Earlier reports had put the number admitted to hospital at four.

None of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening, staff sergeant John Healy, attached to the 177th Armored Brigade, told the TV station.

Pennell told the media outlet it was too early to speculate on the cause of the accident, but said a safety investigation was underway.

In a Facebook post, the 1st Battalion of the 501st Airborne division -- which was taking part in the exercise -- said 83 soldiers had been accounted for, while four were being retrieved from trees by the local fire brigade.

"Once all soldiers have been accounted for, our goal is ultimately to continue training," the 4th Brigade said in a Facebook post.

The exercise -- part of "Operation Arctic Anvil" -- was the start of a ten-day course, involving 650 soldiers.

"Airborne Operations all bear an inherent risk," the statement said. "We strive to mitigate this risk as much as possible."


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