10 injured in air show accident

Three seriously hurt when wind carries paratrooper into spectators during beachfront air display.

israel 60 224 promo (photo credit: )
israel 60 224 promo
(photo credit: )
Independence Day celebrations struck a sour note on Thursday afternoon when an air show and parachuting display on the Tel Aviv beachfront ended with a parachutist falling into the crowd and injuring ten people, three of them seriously. The parachutists were to have landed in the sea after forming the number 60 in the sky, but one of them drifted toward the crowd on the Jerusalem Beach. The injured were taken to Ichilov Hospital in the city. Thousands of people crammed the beachfront to watch the air display, which was broadcast live on television. Earlier this week, a retired 55-year-old South African soldier who came to salute Israel for its 60th anniversary of independence by parachuting toward Palmahim Beach landed badly, breaking his hip. He was rushed to Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot. Gregor Karel, who is among 150 paratroopers from a variety of foreign armies here to take part in the celebration, said from his hospital bed that the group had successful training at the Tel Nof Air Base and were prepared for the rehearsal. "We were sure we would carry out the parachute drop successfully," he said. Karel, who retired from service in 1974 and began to serve in the reserves, said he and fellow soldiers were dropped from a height of 130 meters. "Before me, two paratroopers landed underneath me, so I veered from the target. I landed on a sand dune in Palmahim and just couldn't move my body. Soldiers and a paramedic came immediately and evacuated me to Kaplan," he said. Dr. Vladislav Sheier, an orthopedist in the hospital's emergency room, said he and other doctors performed comprehensive orthopedic tests on the visitor. "We found he had a fracture in the right hip bone," said Sheier. "He will be hospitalized in our department and will have to undergo surgery to repair the fracture."