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One man dies in paraglider incident near Nanjo City

Date Posted: 2007-07-13

A paraglider making a flight at Hyakuna Beach in Tamagusuku went out of control, crashing onto a jagged coral reef Wednesday, killing one of two men aboard.

Shigeyuki Imada of Kanagawa Prefecture was making the flight with an Okinawa instructor when the paraglider went down, killing him. Imada was riding in tandem with the unidentified instructor, who is now hospitalized in serious condition. Officials say the instructor had a small engine strapped to his back for the flight.

Witnesses say the pair took off from the beach, heading out toward the ocean, climbing to a height of ten meters before the engine suddenly stalled, plunging the men onto a coral reef in shallow waters off the beach. Both were taken to a local hospital, where the 57-year-old Imada was pronounced dead.

Police say the instructor is conscious and talking with investigators about the accident. They say nearly a dozen other tourists were waiting on the beach for their turns on a paraglider flight with the instructor. None were injured in the incident.

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