Second soldier dies after anti-landing drill accident

07/05/2020 09:13 PM
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Kaohsiung, July 5 (CNA) A solider who fell overboard during a military anti-landing drill last week died in hospital Sunday, bringing the death toll to two in the boat accident that occurred off the coast of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan.

Staff Sergeant Chen Chih-jung (陳志榮) passed away at 6:29 p.m. Sunday, after his family decided to discontinue life support, according to the Zuoying Branch of the Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital.

In a separate press release, the Navy expressed condolences to Chen's family and said he will receive a posthumous promotion. The Navy also promised to provide compensation and funeral assistance to the family.

Chen is the second soldier to have died after the accident during the military exercise on Friday morning, when a raiding craft from the 99th Brigade of the Marine Corps overturned with seven soldiers on board, off Taoziyuan beach in Kaohsiung.

All seven soldiers were rescued, but four of them were hospitalized, three with pulmonary edema, a condition caused by an abnormal amount of fluid in the lungs, according to the Navy.

In the early hours of Sunday, one of the soldiers with pulmonary edema, Private First Class Tsai Po-yu (蔡博宇), died.

Currently, one patient is in intensive care on life support and the fourth is said to be in non-critical condition.

Also Sunday, one of the supervisors of the drill, Navy Lieutenant Commander Yang (楊), committed suicide. Although no suicide note was found, the Navy said, Yang may have killed himself because of the fatal accident that occurred during the drill.

An initial investigation into the boat accident found that it was caused by surge waves, which are unpredictable waves that appear suddenly, according to the Navy.

The anti-landing drill was being held in preparation for the Han Kuang military exercises, Taiwan's major annual live-fire drills, which are scheduled this year for July 13-17.

(By Matt Yu, Cheng Chi-feng and Joseph Yeh)

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