SEAL Team 6 member dies in Special Ops parachuting accident
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - An accident involving military parachutists killed a member of U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 and injured another during a U.S. Special Operations Command training exercise Thursday at Pinal Air Park.
ABC News has confirmed that both were members of Navy SEAL Team 6, the same team responsible for the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden in May, 2011.
No word yet on if the two SEALs injured Thursday were on that mission in 2011.
An official with the U.S. Special Operations Command tells KGUN9 that the two were participating in a routine military free fall training. The SEALS were from Virginia Beach, Virginia.
An official with the Naval Special Warfare Command confirmed that one of the Navy SEALs died. The other is still in the hospital in stable condition.
Both service members were taken to the University of Arizona Medical Center.
An investigation will look into the exact cause of the accident.
"Such a loss to lose another brother," said former Navy SEAL Craig Sawyer. "It's happened too often."
Sawyer lives right here in Tucson. He's also trained at Pinal Air Park before. He says training is intense, real and dangerous.
"It's a very dangerous job," said Sawyer. "It takes commitment to train. We can't show them videos and have them in a rubber room completely safe. We can't have them shooting at each other to learn what it feels like. Somewhere in the middle there's a perfect balance."
Pinal Air Park is no stranger to parachuting accidents. In 2008, three servicemen died in training. One of the bodies was found on a golf course in Casa Grande. All died within a six month span. The deaths put a hold on parachute training at Pinal Air Park. Ensuing investigations concluded all three deaths were a result of human error.
The names of the SEALS will be released by the Department of Defense pending next of kin notification.
Stay with KGUN9 and KGUN9.com as we learn for more details about this accident.