No casualties in Pingtung rocket launch drill malfunction: military
Taipei, June 20 (CNA) There were no casualties following a rocket launch malfunction during a live-fire exercise in southern Taiwan on Monday, according to the Ministry of National Defense.
No deaths or injuries were reported after the accident at Jiupeng Military Base in Manzhou Township, Pingtung County, during which a rocket inside a Ray-Ting 2000 (Thunderbolt-2000) multiple launch rocket system failed to launch for unknown reasons, the Army said in a statement.
With the rocket stuck in the system, the propellant burned, causing damage to the truck on which the launcher was mounted, the Army added.
As no military personnel were near the rocket system at the time of the failed launch, only the vehicle was damaged, the Army added, noting that the drill was immediately suspended.
The cause of the rocket launch malfunction is being investigated by experts with the military-run Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology and an Army task force, it added.
The Ray-Ting 2000 is a locally-developed multiple rocket artillery system, which has a range of 100 kilometers.
Weapons technicians conduct annual live firing exercises with indigenous systems from June to July at Jiupeng Military Base, a major site for weapons testing located near the southern tip of Taiwan.
Meanwhile, local residents have requested an explanation from the military.
"Local residents in nearby townships are fearful of the potential danger and demand assurances that there will be no recurrence," Manzhou Township deputy representative Ku Tsung-hsun (古宗勳) told CNA.
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