Parachute design questioned in Fort Bragg death

FORT BRAGG, NC (AP) — The Army is investigating the death of an 82nd Airborne paratrooper who died during weekend training in North Carolina while using a new style of parachute.

WRAL-TV reported Wednesday that 25-year-old Staff Sgt. Jamal Clay of Elida, Ohio, fell 800 feet when his parachute failed.

The Army has declined to provide more details about the Fort Bragg accident, which remains under investigation.

Army officials say Clay was using a square parachute. Lt. Col. Dave Connelly says it’s too early to question the parachute’s safety.

The canopy is designed to provide a more controlled descent than round-canopy parachutes the Army used before 2009.

Clay had used the same type of square parachute in two previous jumps and had parachuted more than two dozen times during his seven years in the Army.

Information from: WRAL-TV,

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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