Canadian soldier killed in Bulgaria during training exercise

Department of National Defence says Patrick Labrie was based out of CFB Petawawa

Bombardier Patrick Labrie was based at CFB Petawawa in Ontario. (DND handout via CP)

A Canadian soldier has been killed in a parachuting accident in Bulgaria.

Bombardier Patrick Labrie, a soldier based at CFB Petawawa, died as a result of injuries suffered during parachute training exercise known as Swift Response 19, the Department of National Defence confirmed Tuesday.

The incident happened Monday evening near the Bulgarian village of Cheshnegirovo, and is under investigation by Canadian military police, the department said.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of Bombardier Patrick Labrie,” Canadian Army commander Lt.-Gen. Jean-Marc Lanthier said in a statement.

“Not only is his death a painful loss to his family and friends, but we feel this loss across the Canadian Army and throughout the entire military community.”

Exercise Swift Response is a United States-led multinational airborne field training exercise held in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania.

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Gen. Jonathan Vance, Canada’s chief of the defence staff, made the news public before a cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan later disclosed the soldier’s identity and offered comfort to Labrie’s friends and family.

“We want to pass on our deep condolences, not only to the family but also to all the members who have served with Bombardier Labrie,” Sajjan said. “As you know, any time there’s an accident like this, an investigation will be launched.”

The Canadian Press

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