Defective cables to blame, probe finds

A preliminary investigation has found substandard cables caused an accident during a parachute training jump in Phetchaburi in which two police cadets were killed.

Pol Gen Jaramporn Suramanee, an adviser to the Royal Thai Police Office, yesterday said the findings showed a cable used to deploy the parachutes snapped and there were burn marks on it. 

Investigators found the aircraft cable fastened to the parachute had been repaired before. The cable should have helped open the parachute as the cadets jumped from the aircraft. However, the cable snapped and that was why the parachute did not open.

The investigation team would check the snapped cable and compare it with the other cables used during previous parachute training jumps. The team will determine if the snapped cable met safety standards or not.

The probe found the cable had been replaced with the one that snapped during aircraft maintenance on March 19 before it was used for the parachute training jump, said Pol Gen Jaramporn.

The investigators would work with a steel institute to help check the cable's safety standards. The standard one could carry several tonnes of weight.

The police adviser insisted Monday's tragedy was an accident. Police would further probe who is responsible for the recklessness that caused the two cadets' deaths.

National police chief Adul Saengsingkaew set up a panel to uncover the truth about the deaths, said Pol Gen Jaramporn. Pending the investigation, parachute training will be halted.

The two police cadets - Chayakorn Putthachaiyong, 19, and Nathawuth Tirasuwannasuk, 21- died after the aircraft cable used to deploy their parachutes snapped at the Naresuan camp in Phetchaburi's Cha-am district on Monday.

The cadets failed to release their emergency parachutes. Several of their colleagues managed to pull their reserve chutes in time.

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