Bombardier Patrick Labrie, a member of the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery based at 4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa, Ontario, has died as a result of his injuries during parachute training as part of Exercise Swift Response, Canada’s Department of National Defence said in a statement.
The tragic accident occurred around 10 pm (Eastern Standard Time) on June 17 in Cheshnegirovo, Bulgaria, the statement said.
A Canadian Military Police investigation has been initiated; however, no further information is available at this time, according to the statement.
Exercise Swift Response 19 is a multinational training exercise taking place from June 8 to 27 in various locations throughout Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania.
Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Harjit S. Sajjan, said in a statement: “I share in the mourning for the loss of Bombardier Patrick Labrie along with the entire Canadian Armed Forces family.
“We are reminded of the cost of service to our country each time a member of the Canadian Armed Forces family passes away while preparing to defend Canada. I extend my sincere condolences to Patrick’s family as well as his sisters and brothers in arms.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a message on Twitter: “Canadians mourn today with the family and loved ones of the Canadian soldier killed in a training exercise in Bulgaria yesterday. Bombardier Patrick Labrie’s brave service to our country will not be forgotten”.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the fatal jump was from a Canadian aircraft — a static line jump from a height of about 400 metres. All Canadian static line jumps in this exercise have been suspended while the investigation takes place.
Two US soldiers were injured in the same incident.