TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In a second accident hampering preparations for the annual Han Kuang (漢光) military exercises, a marine was caught in the wheels of an amphibious vehicle Wednesday, according to the military.
The news only became public after a paratrooper was gravely injured when his parachute failed to open during a jump Thursday morning, the Central News Agency reported.
The Han Kuang drills, scheduled for June 4-8, are the high point of the year for Taiwan’s military preparedness, with maneuvers often indicating how the island plans to fend off a possible invasion from China.
A tank unit soldier surnamed Kao (高) saw the packaging of his life jacket getting stuck into the wheel mechanism, causing bruises on the right side of his face and on his right arm, according to CNA. On Thursday, he was conscious and recovering at a military hospital in Kaohsiung.
The accident happened during a training exercise with the AAV-7A1 RAM/RS Assault Amphibious Vehicle inside a military base in the southern city Wednesday morning, officials said.
Taiwan bought 54 of the U.S.-made amphibious vehicles, including 48 of the AAVP-7A1 type which can carry 25 combat-equipped marines and a crew of four, four AAVC-7A1 command vehicles usually filled with communication equipment, and two AAVR-7A1 recovery vehicles, which feature a crew of three each plus a team of repair workers with their gear.