Sailor injured in carrier mishap
April 2, 1997
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A U.S. sailor suffered two broken legs in an accident aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier Independence off the coast of Australia.
The sailor -- a catapult operator -- was transported Wednesday by Navy helicopter to a hospital in Sydney.
The sailor was injured when a "main mount" broke on a F-18 that was being launched from the carrier deck. That caused the plane's wing tip to strike a hatch on the ship. The sailor was sitting in the open hatch when the cover closed on his legs.
The Navy says doctors say he is expected to recover fully after surgery. The F-18 was diverted to Williamtown airfield in Australia where it made a one-wheel landing at night.
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