NCA denies refusing conscript rest request
Superiors did not refuse an alternative serviceman’s request to take a break before he collapsed and died, the National Conscription Agency (NCA, ) said yesterday. NCA head Lin Kou-enn ( ) yesterday told local media that according to the information the agency learned from the serviceman surnamed Chen’s fellow colleagues, Chen did not ask for a rest before he collapsed while weeding at a training center in Greater Taichung Friday.
Lin said the death of Chen is extremely regretful yet such false accusation that said Chen’s superiors had denied his request for a break before he died was “ungrounded.”
Lin added that the agency has handed all related information of Chen to prosecutors to assist the investigation of his death.
The agency is also actively assisting Chen’s family to handle the aftermath of their son’s death.
According to the NCA, Chen, 22, collapsed shortly after 9 a.m. Friday when he and his colleagues were weeding behind a restaurant at an alternative servicemen train- ing center in central Taichung’s Cheng Gong Ling ( ).
Chen was given emergency treatment and rushed to a nearby hospital, but resuscitation efforts failed and he was pronounced dead about one hour later.
The hospital initially said that his death could have been caused by a heart problem instead of heatstroke. But an autopsy will be needed to determine further details, it added.
The agency said Chen was drafted last October and had shown no abnormal physical conditions over the past eight months. He was scheduled to complete his service in three months.
According to the NCA, the training center has set a risk factor system that takes into consideration the temperature and humidity level to decide whether a serviceman can do outdoor activities.
At the time of Chen’s collapse, the risk factor was 38, two points below the 40 level that requires outdoor drills to be conducted in the shade and for conscripts to drink sufficient water.
Also, Chen was weeding in the shade of a tree, which should not have been a tough job, the NCA said.