Update: 12:00 a.m. 12/18
The South Korean tourist has succumbed to his injuries and has been declared dead, reported CNA. Su Pei-lun (蘇沛倫), the person who runs the paragliding field, told CNA that the 49-year-old South Korean man had been aloft for about 10 to 20 minutes before his chute suddenly collapsed, sending him plummeting to the ground.
Su said the man, who was identified by his surname Mun (文), had an advanced paragliding certificate, with five years of experience and 1,000 flight hours under his belt. Mun was familiar with the area, having been to the field twice before, and this time around he was preparing to participate in an international paragliding competition slated for Dec. 29.
Su said that such accidents are usually caused by turbulence, but the wind direction and visibility were good in the afternoon when he went flying.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A South Korean tourist has fallen approximately 100 meters while paragliding in southern Taiwan's Pingtung County (屏東縣), and was rushed to hospital after showing no signs of life, reports CNA.
At 3 p.m. today, a male South Korean tourist, approximately 45 years of age, reportedly plummeted, shortly after taking off from a platform at the Pingtung Saichia paragliding and hang gliding field. When firefighters arrived at the scene, the man was showing no signs of life and was immediately rushed to hospital for emergency treatment.
The Pingtung Fire Department said the tourist was part of a group of around nine people who were paragliding at the airfield. Shortly after taking off, the tourist suddenly fell from a height of around 100 meters into a patch of bushes on the hillside.
When firefighters arrived at the scene, people had already moved the tourist from the site of the accident to a mountain trail for rescue.
Because of its steady air current, the airfield at Saichia is a popular place for flying all year round. It is a favorite spot for Japanese and South Korean paragliding enthusiasts, who regularly flock to the area in groups.
In recent years, there have been several reported incidents involving Japanese and South Korean paragliders in Pingtung County.
The man is still undergoing treatment and his current status is unknown.