Spanish police launch investigation after death of Irish soldier in parachute accident

Spanish Police Launch Investigation After Death Of Irish Soldier In Parachute Accident
Declan O'Connell died following a "bad landing" from a parachute jump in the south of Spain. Photo: Facebook/Chaplaincy Service of The Irish Defence Forces
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Gerard Couzens

Spanish police have confirmed an investigation is underway into the death of an Irish soldier in a parachute accident.

More details of the tragedy involving Declan ‘Dec’ O’Connell emerged overnight as authorities confirmed it had occurred around midday on Sunday near an aerodrome in Bollullos de la Mitacion, a half-hour drive from the southern Spanish city of Seville.


Mr O’Connell (54), from Newbridge, Co Kildare, is understood to have died after a “bad landing” in a field a kilometre away from a one-runway aerodrome called La Juliana.

A spokesman for a regional government-run emergency coordination centre, confirmed: “An Irish national died in a parachute accident on Sunday near La Juliana Aerodrome in Bollullos de la Mitacion in the province of Seville during his landing.

“We received the first call at 12.15pm. A witness rang to say the parachutist had made a bad landing in a field just over a kilometre from the aerodrome.

“We alerted paramedics, local police and Civil Guard and a helicopter was sent to the scene.


“I can confirm the parachutist died, but I don’t have information on the work the emergency responders carried out at the scene.”

A spokesman for the Civil Guard in Seville added: “The parachutist was declared dead at the scene and his body was removed around 2.30pm.

“An investigation is underway and a report on the incident will be submitted to a local court.

“We can’t comment on the possible causes at this stage.”

A spokesman for the Defence Forces said: “We can confirm that a serving member has died in a parachuting accident in Spain. He was off duty at the time.”

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