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U.S. military helicopter lands in park in Nago City

Date Posted: 2003-07-05

A U.S. Military helicopter landed unexpectedly in Nago last Sunday, causing a stir among residents who didn't know what was happening. The landing occurred in the 21st Century Forest Park in Nago City, where it had been summoned to pick up and transport a seriously injured American serviceman.

According to officials, the helicopter took the man, who had been injured while rock climbing in Uka, Kunigami Village, to the Naval Hospital. He had fallen about 25ft and broken several ribs and injured his back.

Prior to the landing, military officials had placed an emergency landing request with the Nago City Public Facilities Management Center. Officials at the center said that they granted the permission immediately because it was an emergency.

The location where the helicopter landed was under construction, and no one was using it, but baseball and ground-golf matches were held in the vicinity in the surrounding area. The Sunday morning landing surprised people living near by.

The keeper of the beach house next to the field said that "Because they asked me a permission to use a helicopter to transport the injured man, I notified the management center to get the permission for the landing.

"The only trouble," he said, was that "I had to control many onlookers who wanted to come to have a close look, but I'm happy we had no other trouble. We cannot help if the situation is an emergency, but I don't want them to land on such a place."

Many people who were in the area to enjoying a beautiful weekend day expressed surprise at seeing the chopper to land. Some said that they thought it was a bit risky to land a helicopter in an area with so many people around.

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