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Bahraini police and medics were dispatched to the scene

US Navy sailor dies in balcony plunge in Bahrain

MANAMA, May 18, 2015

A US Navy sailor has fallen to his death from a seventh-floor apartment balcony in Juffair, Bahrain.

The incident happened at around 11pm on Saturday (May 16) and an investigation has been launched by Bahraini and US authorities, according to a statement issued by the US Naval Forces Central Command and US Fifth Fleet public affairs department yesterday, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

It said the unidentified sailor was assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Farragut, but was on leave at the time of his death.

The US Navy initially said the incident happened at a hotel, but the GDN discovered it actually took place at the Florida Towers apartment complex.

It added that the USS Farragut, which last month responded to a distress call from a cargo vessel boarded by Iranian troops as it traversed the Strait of Hormuz, was currently in Bahrain for a routine port visit.

"Bahrain authorities and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service responded to the scene where the sailor was pronounced dead," said the US Navy statement.

"The navy is co-operating with Bahraini authorities and investigating the death."

Bahraini police and medical teams responded following the sailor's death late on Saturday, cordoning off the area around his body while an investigation was conducted.

A 29-year-old Thai woman, who lives in the seventh-floor apartment from where the sailor fell, told the GDN that she believed he was drunk.

"My roommate and I were at the Ramee International Hotel when we met him (the deceased) and his friend," she told the GDN on condition of anonymity.

"They were both very drunk.

"We brought them home and were laughing and talking on the table.

"He was sitting closest to the balcony.

"While I was talking to my roommate it seemed like he just disappeared. We didn't even know he fell.

"We looked for him and it was only when we heard some noises in the street that we saw him.

"We panicked and didn't know what to do - we are still in a panic and haven't slept since it happened."

The apartment building's caretaker, who asked to be identified only as Jamal, said witnesses had been questioned at length about the incident.

"I can't believe what happened," he said yesterday.

"The night still has not finished for me or the tenants.

"I saw them come into the building - there were two guys and two girls.

"The man who fell looked very drunk, but I didn't think anything.

"It was when I heard the noise on the road that I came out and saw the body, it was at about 10.30pm.

"Police arrived at the scene two minutes after that and the questioning started - they talked to me then to the girls."


He said witnesses had been questioned at length by US Navy personnel and investigators believed to be attached to the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), as well as Bahraini police.

One passer-by told the GDN that he initially thought the deceased had been hit by a car.

"I saw what was going on," he said.

"He (the sailor) died at the scene, but his body wasn't moved until about 1am.

"I talked to the officers there who were also confused about what exactly happened.

"The US Navy base authorities came to the area - a lot of them - and they were investigating. At about 1am, the ambulance was allowed to take the body."

The USS Farragut is part of the USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group operating in the region in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, which is the military campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | US | death | navy | Juffair | sailor |

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