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Ireland. An experienced parachutist died during the jump. He got tangled in “one or more” lines

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Declan O’Connell, a soldier in the Irish armed forces, died in a parachuting accident. According to witnesses, the lines in the man’s parachute got tangled, which prevented him from opening his main and emergency parachutes. The Irish Minister of Defense expressed his condolences to the relatives of the tragically deceased.

Fifty-four-year-old Declan “Doc” O’Connell has been in the Irish Army since 1990. He served nine times abroad, incl. in Lebanon, Kosovo, Mali and Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was a sergeant in the training center of the Irish army. He was off duty when the accident happened. On Sunday, February 12, he took part in a parachuting course near the airport in Bollullos de la Mitación near Seville, the organizer of the training, the skydive club Skydive Spain, was quoted by The Irish Times. Club officials confirmed that its members are cooperating with the Spanish police in the investigation into the circumstances of O’Connell’s death.

He was an experienced parachutist, training to be an instructor

The man was to take part in the training as a candidate for a parachute jumping instructor. Sam was an experienced skydiver, jumping since 2004. In 2016, he was a member of the first Irish team to reach the podium at the World Indoor Sky Dive Championship. His team won first place.

SEE ALSO: The commando survived a fall from a height of half a kilometer. His parachute didn’t deploy

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A spokesman for the Spanish club said O’Connell had become entangled in “one or more” lines of his main parachute, causing it to deploy incorrectly.

The spokesman added that the 54-year-old was “observed” to deploy his reserve parachute, “however, due to entanglement in the lines and apparently inability to free himself, the main and reserve parachutes did not deploy properly.” Paramedics and police were sent to the scene of the accident. Upon arrival, they found him dead. “The staff and community of Skydive Spain are saddened by this incident. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased,” said a statement quoted by the Irish daily.

The day after the accident, Micheál Martin, the head of the Irish Defense Ministry, posted his condolences on the ministry’s website. “On behalf of the government, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family of former Sergeant Declan O’Connell, his colleagues in the armed forces and all who knew him,” the statement said. “It is so difficult to find the most appropriate words to express the terrible loss experienced by family, friends and and associates of Declan”. And later in the entry: “his loss will be felt acutely by all who knew him.”

A wedding is planned for April

“Declan was an outstanding soldier and leader, greatly respected by all who had the pleasure of serving with him. He will be greatly missed by the Defense Forces family and my thoughts and condolences go out to his family at this extremely difficult time,” said the Irish Defense Forces Chief of Staff. general Seán Clancy, quoted by the Irish portal Independent.ie.

A week after the tragic accident, O’Connell’s bachelor party was to take place. The man and his longtime partner planned to get married in April.

SEE ALSO: “No one was behind the wheel”? Mystery of fatal accident solved

The Irish Times, www.gov.ie, Independent.ie

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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