South Korean paraglider dies in Pune during an event

A 45-year-old South Korean national, Sang Oh, died after he strayed off course, during an event near Panchgani in Satara district, 100 km from Pune, police said on Wednesday.

The incident happened on Tuesday when the paraglider strayed into a hilly area.

Sang Oh, a professional paraglider, was participating in the third edition of a six-day international paragliding competition, which has drawn 130 gliders from 23 countries. The meet began on Tuesday.

Satara district police officials said Sang Oh took off from Rajpuri near Panchgani, but strayed. Later, search and rescue operation teams found him with serious injuries in the hills near Abhepuri village. He was then brought to the Mission Hospital at Wai, where he was declared dead.

After Sang’s death, organizers suspended the event for a day. The final round is scheduled for February 17. Following the incident, Satara police arrested Vistas Kharas, an organiser of the event.

Kharas, 49, has been booked under section 304 (A) (Causing death by negligence) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code.

“The incident happened in Abhepuri village in our jurisdiction. It was a competition with 130 paragliders for which permission from the local government was not sought. The required safety measures were also not in place. They took off from Panchgani between 12 noon and 1:30 pm. We are seeking an expert opinion to understand what happened after that,” said BB Yedge, assistant police inspector of Wai police station, where the case has been registered.”Organisers had provided a walkie-talkie and other gear to the gliders,” said Yedge.

Raghav Sundar, president, Paragliding association of India, said the main organizer of the event is still completing the formalities with the authorities.

According to one of the paragliders participating in the event, who wished to remain anonymous, Sang was half-way on his route when he collapsed onto a ridge. “He was nearer to ground level when he collapsed,” the paraglider said.

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