Soldier Killed in 'Tragic' Parachute Jump Accident Over Washington

by Andrew Rudansky and Alastair Jamieson /  / Updated 

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A soldier died after going missing during a parachute jump over Washington state, officials said early Saturday.

The unidentified soldier, from Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Tacoma, was found after an extensive search “but did not survive,” Mason County Sheriff’s Department said in an update.

A military investigation has been launched into what the department called a “tragic training accident.”

A spokesman for the base said the soldier was last seen during a parachute jump over Mason County, west of the base, at around noon local time (3 p.m. ET).

Rescue teams searched a six-kilometer diameter circle. "It's pretty rough terrain with a lot of timber,” Ryan Spurling, Mason County sheriff's chief criminal deputy, told NBC station KING5.

The soldier was part of a special forces unit based at Lewis-McChord, KING5 reported, and deployed a reserve parachute during the exercise.

The Mason County Sheriff's Office, Washington State Police, volunteer search and rescue and the military were among the agencies involved in the search.

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