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Airman missing in Gulf of Mexico after falling from plane

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HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. — The U.S. military and local Florida law enforcement are searching the Gulf of Mexico for an airman who fell out of a plane during a parachute training exercise.

An Air Force news release says the special tactics airman departed a C-130 aircraft Tuesday morning during a planned static-line jump several miles south of Florida’s Hurlburt Field and made an unintentional water landing.

Officials didn’t say whether the airman’s parachute deployed after leaving the plane.

Officials say an emergency response was immediately initiated, and rescue teams on Wednesday continued to search a 700-square-mile (1,800-square-kilometer) area off the coast between Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola.

Participating in the search are boats and aircraft from the Air Force, Coast Guard, Army, Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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