SAS rookies cheated death after parachuting into high voltage power lines in Scotland

TWO rookie SAS soldiers cheated death when they clattered into high voltage power lines while parachuting.

The special forces duo collided with the cables after jumping out a plane in the dark over Cupar, Scotland, as part of a training mission.

Incredibly they escaped uninjured after the lines – carrying 11,000 and 33,000 volts – crashed to the ground with them.

The hapless pair were rescued by engineers when they misjudged a night-time exercise and crashed into power lines — leaving almost 500 homes cut off.

Stunned residents mocked the rookies who wiped out electricity supplies in the bungled parachute jump.

Fife locals joked that the soldiers would have to up their games if they were ever deployed in hotspots such as Afghanistan.

One bemused resident said last night: “It’s Cupar, not Kandahar.

“I don’t think the Taliban have much to worry about if they can’t land in a field without announcing their arrival with a power outage.”

Another added: “We knew something had happened because all the clocks in the house started flashing and the lights went out for a short while.

“The lines they wiped out were strung between two massive wood­en poles. They weren’t hard to spot.

“You would imagine they should have been using night vision goggles but something clearly went wrong, not once but twice.

“The two soldiers wouldn’t say what regiment they were from so they are probably SAS — although after this debacle, they might be back to polishing shoes.”

The bizarre incident happened on the outskirts of the town, which is just seven miles from a military base at Leuchars.

The blundering rookies cheated death after clattering into cables carrying 11,000 and 33,000 volts.

Former special forces soldier David Radband, 34, said the cock-up was likely caused by a poor recce of the landing area.

And he revealed the elite unit — motto Who Dares Wins — would normally carry out training ops in California due to its better weather but Covid restrictions have forced them to stay in the UK.

The former Lance Corporal, who served on tours of Afghanistan and Iraq, said: “This should never have happened.

"The RAF should have assessed where the hazards were on the drop zone and the guys should have been briefed about them before they jumped.

“You can’t have rookies parachuting into areas like this because it’s asking for dramas.

"They should have been landing in a massive open area, not a tight spot.

“Night vision wouldn’t have been much use because when you are coming out of the sky, you would only see the lines as it’s too late.”

He added: “They are trained not to say where they’re from — that goes for a lot of units in the Army.”

The Ministry of Defence confirmed they were probing the incident on August 31.

A spokesman said: “We are aware of an accident in the Cupar area involving military personnel last month.

“No personnel were injured and as an investigation is ongoing it would be inappropriate to offer additional comment.”

SP Energy Networks said: “On the night of August 31, our network in the Cupar area tripped twice within the space of an hour due to an issue with overhead power lines.

“Supplies to around 480 customers were affected, with power res­tored within a matter of seconds.”

The Army website describes the Special Air Service as being “tasked to the highest level and can operate in difficult and often changing circumstances”.


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