A Navy SEAL accident in Arizona ended in tragedy Thursday, according to military officials.
Two Navy SEALs from an East Coast Naval Special Warfare Unit were involved in an accident while participating in a parachute training exercise in southern Arizona. One Navy SEAL was killed and a second SEAL remains hospitalized with injuries sustained during the tragic accident.
The names of the two men involved are not being publicly announced pending further military investigation and notification of family members.
Specific details regarding the fatal incident are unclear at this time. However, both military and local officials have spoken briefly about the accident.
Kenneth McGraw, a spokesperson with the United States Special Operations Command, indicated that the Navy SEAL accident happened at approximately 12:30 pm on Thursday during a military free-fall training exercise.
One Navy SEAL, identified only as an E-8-Senior Chief, was pronounced dead after being rushed to the University of Arizona Medical Center, according to the Department of Defense.
A second Navy SEAL, reportedly an E-6 Petty Officer First Class, was also transported to the medical center where he remains in stable condition.
While military officials have not confirmed the exact location of the Navy SEAL accident, the command reportedly conducts parachute training and testing programs at the Pinal Airpark in Marana, Arizona.
According to Tamra Ingersoll, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office in Pinal County, local residents reported witnessing a skydiving accident at the location. When deputies arrived on scene, they were reportedly escorted from the property by military personnel who have taken control of the investigation.
Officials from the Sheriff’s Office later indicated that the Navy SEAL accident in Arizona occurred when two individuals suffered a mid-air collision, subsequently landing in separate ground locations.
Previous fatal accidents involving Navy SEALs have reportedly occurred at Pinal Airpark. Roughly five years ago, two separate accidents involving parachute training at the location resulted in the deaths of two Navy SEALs. Investigations concluded that both fatalities were the result of malfunctioning parachutes used during free-fall jumps.
Military officials are currently conducting an investigation into Thursday’s Navy SEAL accident in Arizona.