A British soldier came crashing through the roof of a southern California home after his parachute failed to open during training.
Shocked locals rushed to call the emergency services when they saw him hurtling out of the sky in free-fall.
The parachutist had jumped from a plane at 15,000ft while part of a group training exercise conducted from nearby Camp Roberts, a California national guard base.
He smashed through the roof of a bungalow and landed, dazed but not seriously injured, in the kitchen. Images show him still attached to his harness, surrounded by roof tiles and other wreckage as he lay stunned on the floor.
Neighbour Rose Martin, a registered nurse, ran in to help him. “I was in shock. I’m like, what?’” she told a local TV station. “I checked on him and his eyes were open but I wasn’t sure if there were any injuries. I didn’t want anyone to move him.”
“It’s a miracle in my estimation, really. I mean, who lands like that without a parachute and lives?” she added.
Fully conscious but in some pain, the soldier was taken to hospital and treated for moderate injuries.
The homeowner’s mother, Linda Sallady, said she was amazed that more damage wasn’t done to the house considering he had smashed through the roof. “It’s mostly the ceiling, the sheetrock. He missed the counters, appliances, everything.”
A statement from the Atascadero police department said: “Investigation revealed that a parachute failed to fully deploy during manoeuvres by a group training at Camp Roberts. This was the only incident involved and all others participating in the jump landed safely at the designated landing field.”
It also confirmed that occupants were not home during the accident, so no one else was hurt.
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