Sin­ga­pore sol­dier dies in train­ing ac­ci­dent

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - CLARE ARM­STRONG

AN OVER­SEAS sol­dier has died af­ter sus­tain­ing crit­i­cal in­juries in an ar­moured ve­hi­cle crash dur­ing a mil­i­tary train­ing ex­er­cise near Rock­hamp­ton.

Sin­ga­porean 3rd Sergeant Chan Hiang Cheng Gavin, 21, was guid­ing a Bionix In­fantry Fight­ing ve­hi­cle out of dif­fi­cult ter­rain at the Shoal­wa­ter Bay Train­ing Area when it tipped over at about 8.15pm Fri­day.

Sgt Chan was found un­con­scious next to the ve­hi­cle and a medic tried to re­sus­ci­tate him be­fore he was evac­u­ated by he­li­copter to the Rock­hamp­ton Hos­pi­tal.

The Sin­ga­pore Min­istry of De­fence last night con­firmed Sgt Chan “suc­cumbed to his in­juries” in the early hours of yes­ter­day.

The driver and two other pas­sen­gers trav­el­ling in the ar­moured ve­hi­cle were not in­jured. The death fol­lows last month’s US mil­i­tary he­li­copter crash in which three marines died.

Their MV-22 Osprey had been on its fi­nal ap­proach to the USS Green Bay off Shoal­wa­ter Bay when the crash oc­curred.

Sgt Chan was one of more than 5000 Sin­ga­pore Armed forces per­son­nel cur­rently in Queens­land to par­tic­i­pate in “Ex­er­cise Wal­laby,” which is the coun­try’s ma­jor an­nual uni­lat­eral train­ing ac­tiv­ity.

Aus­tralian De­fence Min­is­ter Marise Payne ex­tended her con­do­lences to Sgt Chan’s fam­ily, who ar­rived in Queens­land yes­ter­day.

“Aus­tralia and Sin­ga­pore have a deep and en­dur­ing de­fence re­la­tion­ship and our thoughts are with Sin­ga­pore at this time,” she said.

Ms Payne said no Aus­tralian De­fence Force mem­bers or ve­hi­cles were in­volved in the in­ci­dent.

The Sin­ga­pore Min­istry of De­fence an­nounced a “safety pause” on train­ing in Shoal­wa­ter Bay Train­ing Area pend­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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