Soldier dies dur­ing ex­er­cise

Sin­ga­pore Armed Forces sol­diers in ve­hi­cle rollover ac­ci­dent at SWB

The Morning Bulletin - - NEWS - Kerri-Anne Mes­ner kerri-anne.mes­ner@cap­news.com.au

MIL­I­TARY per­son­nel are in mourn­ing af­ter a soldier was killed in an ac­ci­dent dur­ing Ex­er­cise Wal­laby at Shoal­wa­ter Bay on Fri­day night.

Sin­ga­pore Armed Forces’ (SAF) 3rd Sergeant (3SG) Gavin Chan Hiang Cheng, 21, was in­volved in an ac­ci­dent at the mil­i­tary train­ing area north of Rock­hamp­ton about 6.15pm, ac­cord­ing the Sin­ga­pore Min­istry of De­fence.

The Min­istry posted the an­nounce­ment on its web­site and Face­book on Satur­day.

The Sin­ga­pore Armed Forces is cur­rently car­ry­ing out Ex­er­cise Wal­laby 2017 at the Aus­tralian-owned train­ing fa­cil­ity about 100km north of Rock­hamp­ton.

This is the sec­ond ac­ci­dent at the Cen­tral Queens­land mil­i­tary train­ing area this year to claim lives of mil­i­tary per­son­nel.

Three US Marines died af­ter a MV-22 Osprey crashed off the coast in Au­gust.

Calls to lo­cal emer­gency ser­vices by The Morn­ing Bul­letin as­cer­tained Rock­hamp­ton Queens­land Am­bu­lance Ser­vice crews were called to the train­ing area on Fri­day night to at­tend to a pa­tient but a he­li­copter ended up trans­port­ing him to Rock­hamp­ton Hos­pi­tal.

The Sin­ga­pore Min­istry of De­fence stated a SAF medic per­formed CPR on Cheng, who was found un­con­scious next to the ve­hi­cle, be­fore he was trans­ported.

He was pro­nounced dead at Rock­hamp­ton Hos­pi­tal at 10.36pm on Fri­day.

Cheng was a full-time na­tional ser­vice­man and a Ve­hi­cle Com­man­der from the 41st Bat­tal­ion Sin­ga­pore Ar­moured Reg­i­ment.

He was was trav­el­ling in a Bionix In­fantry Fight­ing Ve­hi­cle as part of an ex­er­cise when the in­ci­dent hap­pened.

Cheng was guid­ing a ve­hi­cle out of dif­fi­cult ter­rain when it landed on its side.

The driver and two other pas­sen­gers trav­el­ling in the Bionix In­fantry Fight­ing Ve­hi­cle were un­hurt

The Sin­ga­pore Min­istry of De­fence state­ment said there was a safety pause on train­ing in Shoal­wa­ter Bay Train­ing Area in ef­fect, and an investigation of the in­ci­dent is on­go­ing.

“The Min­istry of De­fence and the SAF ex­tend their deep­est con­do­lences to the fam­ily of the late ser­vice­man and are as­sist­ing the fam­ily in this time of grief,” the state­ment said.

The Min­istry of De­fence and the SAF ex­tend their deep­est con­do­lences to the fam­ily of the late ser­vice­man and are as­sist­ing the fam­ily in this time of grief.

— Min­istry of De­fence

PHOTO: RUS­SELL PROTHERO

CA­SU­ALTY: A Sin­ga­pore Armed Forces ar­moured ve­hi­cle dur­ing Ex­er­cise Wal­laby 2016.

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