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Guardsman Injured, Another Missing In Accident During Training

September 10, 1990

GRENADA, Miss. (AP) _ A National Guardsman was critically injured and another was missing after something went wrong when they jumped from a helicopter into a lake during routine training, authorities said.

Four other guardsmen were slightly injured in Sunday’s accident, Lt. Col. Bob Harper, a National Guard spokesman, said today. Military and law enforcement teams resumed their search of Grenada Lake this morning for the missing man, authorities said.

″This is a fairly routine operation and the men were wearing swim trunks and inflatable life preservers,″ Harper said. ″We’re not sure what went wrong and an accident investigation team is on the scene.″ He added that the men had checked the depth of the water before making the jump.

The training exercise had nothing to do with the Persian Gulf crisis, Harper said. The team was participating in an exercise called ″helicasting,″ where a helicopter comes in very low over the lake and the people jump into the water.

The missing guardsman is Sgt. Chet May of Fulton, assigned to a Columbus- based second battalion, 20th special forces group, Harper said.

He identified the critically injured man as Cpl. Ronald S. Kelly of Jackson. Kelly was taken to a hospital in Memphis, Tenn., following the accident, while the four other guardsmen were treated at a Grenada hospital and released.

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