Military transport vehicle catches fire during parachuting exercise

RIGA, June 9 (Xinhua) — A military transport vehicle caught fire during a parachuting exercise that was held Saturday in Adazi training grounds, outside Riga, as part of the multinational Swift Response maneuvers, spokespeople for the Latvian Defense Ministry informed.

Over 500 U.S. and British paratroopers were descending on the training grounds from eight C-17 military transport planes in the exercise, said Defense Ministry representative Mairita Senkevicina.

In her words, one of the transport vehicles which was also involved in the drills started burning during the descent. The exercise was temporarily suspended. Luckily, nobody was harmed in the accident.

Organizers of the exercise are probing the causes of the midair fire.

Swift Response ’18 is an annual U.S.-led multinational training exercise in which allied forces practice paratroopers’ response to a sudden military threat. The Latvian troops involved in the drills practice provision of support to the allies as a host country.

This year, Swift Response ’18 takes place in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland from June 7 to 15 with the participation of some 2,300 servicemen from seven NATO member and partner countries.

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