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SEAL dead after parachuting accident

Mar. 30, 2013 - 01:21PM   |  
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TUCSON, Ariz. — A Navy SEAL has died and another was injured when they collided in midair during parachute training in southern Arizona, authorities said.

The Department of Defense said an E-8 senior chief was taken to University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson, where he was pronounced dead. The other SEAL — a E-6 petty officer first class — was in stable condition at the same hospital, military officials said Friday.

The accident happened about 12:30 p.m. "in the vicinity of" Pinal Airpark in Marana, Naval Special Warfare Command officials said in a statement.

U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Kenneth McGraw said the SEALs were practicing "routine military free-fall training" when the accident occurred Thursday afternoon. Authorities said they collided in midair and landed in separate areas.

The command has a parachute testing and training facility at the Pinal Airpark in Marana, according to McGraw, who added that training programs are operated there year-round.

The area is in desert terrain northwest of Tucson.

The names of the two SEALs, both from an East Coast Naval Special Warfare Unit, weren't immediately released and military officials said the accident was under investigation.

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