US military suspends some training in South Korea after 4 civilians killed in crash with armoured vehicle

All four people in the SUV died, while one US soldier suffered light injuries and was sent to the hospital.
All four people in the SUV died, while one US soldier suffered light injuries and was sent to the hospital.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SEOUL (REUTERS) - The US military command in South Korea said on Monday (Aug 31) it would suspend training at a range after four South Korean civilians were killed in a crash with an armoured vehicle late on Sunday.

An SUV crashed with a military armoured vehicle at about 9.30pm on Sunday, on a public road about 5km from a live-fire range used by the US and South Korean militaries in Pocheon, between Seoul and the North Korean border, the fire department said in a statement.

All four people in the SUV died, while one US soldier suffered light injuries and was taken to the hospital, the department said.

US Forces Korea (USFK) said the vehicle belonged to the 2nd Infantry Division-ROK/US Combined Division, which was the first division to include both South Korean and US troops, lead by an American commander with a South Korean deputy.

"USFK offers its deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased following this tragic accident, they are in our thoughts and prayers," the command said in a statement.

"Out of respect to those killed and their families Eighth Army is temporarily suspending training in the area."

The two US soldiers in the armoured vehicle were "evaluated and returned to duty", USFK said.

Photos and video from the site showed the SUV with its front badly mangled after apparently running into the rear of the tracked armoured personnel carrier, which showed signs of lighter damage.

About 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea, where the US has maintained a military presence since the 1950-53 Korean War.

 
 

The allies are in the midst of a dispute over how much South Korea should pay towards maintaining the troops, and South Korea has been pushing for the US to grant it the right to control all troops in the country in the event of a war.