Chief of the General Staff Lee Hsi-ming (李喜明) talks of a paratrooper accident Thursday.

Taipei, May 17 (CNA) A paratrooper was critically injured at the Ching Chuan Kang air base in Taichung Thursday morning during a rehearsal for the upcoming annual Han Kuang military exercises, military officials reported that day.

The injured soldier from the Army Aviation and Special Forces Command was rushed to hospital without a heartbeat, but was resuscitated after emergency treatment, although he remained in critical condition, according to Maj. Gen. Wu Li-wen (伍立文), the head of the unit.

The accident occurred when the soldier jumped from a C-130 transport plane flying at around 1,300 feet (396.24 meters) and his parachute failed to open, Wu said.

The Han Kuang exercises, Taiwan’s biggest annual military drill, are scheduled to be held across the country June 4-8.

Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) has directed a team led by Chief of the General Staff Lee Hsi-ming (李喜明) to investigate the accident.

Yen also assigned senior surgeons at Tri-Service General Hospital to provide medical assistance for the injured paratrooper.

The Ministry of National Defense said it has notified all military branches to adopt enhanced safety measures and improve personnel training to ensure that military exercises are conducted in a safe manner and to prevent similar incidents from recurring.

(By Yu Kai-hisang, Chao Li-yen, Frances Huang and Evelyn Kao)
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