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Skydiving show wows crowds on National Day (update)

2011/10/10 16:23:41

Taipei, Oct. 10 (CNA) A skydiving show featuring 12 military paratroopers captivated thousands of spectators Monday during the Republic of China's centennial National Day celebrations in Taipei.

Members of the paratroopers training unit of the Army Airborne Training Center jumped from a plane at an altitude of 5,000 feet above the plaza in front of the Presidential Office.

The crowd was enthralled as the paratroopers floated down from the sky, and applause erupted when six of them landed on target at the plaza.

The other six paratroopers drifted off mark in windy conditions, but they all landed safely without any major injuries, said Major General Huang Chin-en, who headed the team.

"We gave our best to today's performance," Huang said. Although the show was not perfect, the ability of a well-trained team to handle the unexpected was laudable, he added.

"But for the windy conditions, I believe all the paratroopers would have completed the jump successfully," he said.

Staff Sergeant Lu Shu-yu, the only woman on the team. said it was regrettable that she failed to make the landing target and came down instead on the Taiping Elementary School playground, north of the plaza.

However, the jump was a rare and exciting experience, she said, brushing off her sprained ankle as just a mild injury sustained on landing.

The skydiving show was held successfully as part of the Double Tenth celebrations for the first time in recent years. In previous ceremonies, the event had to be canceled because of poor weather.

(By Elaine Hou)
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