A 62-year-old German firefighter was taken to the intensive care unit late Wednesday night after sustaining “severe but non-life-threatening head injuries” during a rescue mission outside of the US Army’s Grafenwoehr Training Area near the town of Grafenwöhr in Bavaria, Germany, reported Stars and Stripes.
“We did not know exactly how many soldiers were hanging in the trees or if they were lying somewhere on the ground,” Werner Stopfer, chief of police in the nearby town of Eschenbach, told the outlet, explaining that a rescue helicopter, mountain rescue team and firefighters were deployed to the training area.
According to US officials cited by the Associated Press, at least six American soldiers – many of them from the 173rd Airborne Brigade – were injured earlier that day after drifting off course during a parachute drop.
“Airborne operations carry inherent risks,” Maj. Chris Bradley, spokesman for the 173rd Airborne Brigade, told the Associated Press. “This is precisely why we practice all phases of jumping regularly and ensure our paratroopers jump often to keep their skills sharp.”
Though no word was officially released on how exactly the firefighter sustained his head injuries, the 62-year-old individual was reportedly hurt after a soldier fell out of a tree.
Bradley went on to detail that all of the injured soldiers injured are expected to recover, and, as of Thursday, three of the six had been discharged from the local hospital. The remaining troops are being held for further evaluation and possible treatment.
Stopfer detailed to Stars and Stripes that the troops sustained “typical injuries for parachutists,” like bruises, bone fractures and skin abrasions.
A similar parachuting mishap occurred in October 2019 during a 10-day training exercise at Camp Shelby in Mississippi. Sputnik reported that at least 32 US Army paratroopers were injured and at least 18 of those soldiers – some with broken bones – were hospitalized from the incident.
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