This teenager whose dream was to become a paratrooper has died when he got stuck on the plane during a final training run, and his chute then failed to open properly when he broke free.
His devastated family, who are struggling to come to terms with the loss of the 19-year-old, shared an innocent picture of him as a little boy in his military uniform from the time when he first dreamed of becoming a paratrooper.
The tragedy occurred during one Pedro Lucas Ferreira Chaves’s final training jump to become a fully-fledged paratrooper at the Afonsos Air Force Base in the Realengo area of the city of Rio de Janeiro in the southeastern Brazilian state of the same name.
Local media report the 19-year-old jumped out of the plane, but he got stuck to the back of the aircraft, and when he broke free, neither of his parachutes opened properly.
A press statement from the local Military Command said: “Soldier Chaves suffered serious injuries upon arriving back on the ground, immediately receiving first aid from the local medical team.
“He was then taken to the Rio de Janeiro General Hospital in Vila Militar where he was attended to, but unfortunately he passed away.”
A Military Police investigation has been launched into the incident.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attended the soldiers’ funeral and grieving mother Alynne Soares, 36, said: “My son was full of life, joy, happy for having managed to get into the Brigade. It was his dream but now all that is left is pain.”
The mother said it was her son’s aim since he was a child to become a paratrooper, with the photo showing him as a youngster in Air Force uniform, and she says the jump was the last of the final three training jumps needed to qualify to be a paratrooper.
She said: “He was finishing his training, fulfilling his dream since he was little. It was the last jump, that they do armed and fully equipped. But the parachutes did not open.
“Bolsonaro was emotional during the homage. But I brought my son here alive to make his dream of being a paratrooper come true. And they gave my son back to me dead. I am going to have to live with this pain for the rest of my life. It’s not fair.”
An investigation into the incident is ongoing.
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Story By: Alex Cope, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Central European News
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