NSF dies in vehicle collision during local field exercise

Private Liu Kai, a transport operator from the SAF's Transport Hub West, was operating a Land Rover as part of a field training exercise when a Bionix vehicle reversed into his vehicle.
Private Liu Kai, a transport operator from the SAF's Transport Hub West, was operating a Land Rover as part of a field training exercise when a Bionix vehicle reversed into his vehicle.PHOTO: FAMILY OF LIU KAI
The Bionix is a family of tracked armoured fighting vehicles, or tanks, developed by Singapore Technologies Kinetics.
The Bionix is a family of tracked armoured fighting vehicles, or tanks, developed by Singapore Technologies Kinetics.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Soldier was operating a Land Rover when a Bionix reversed into him; safety timeout on training called

A Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) full-time national serviceman (NSF) died yesterday in a vehicular accident in the Jalan Murai training area.

An army-wide safety timeout on training has since been called with immediate effect to ensure all appropriate safety measures are in place, the Defence Ministry (Mindef) said in a statement.

Police investigations are also ongoing and an independent Committee of Inquiry (COI) will be convened to investigate the circumstances leading to the incident, it added. The dead soldier, Private Liu Kai, has received posthumous recognition of the rank of Corporal First Class (CFC), said Mindef.

CFC Liu, 22, a transport operator from the SAF's Transport Hub West, is believed to be a Chinese national holding permanent resident status here.

He was operating a Land Rover yesterday as part of a field training exercise when a Bionix vehicle reversed into his vehicle. The Bionix is a family of tracked armoured fighting vehicles, or tanks, developed by Singapore Technologies Kinetics.

The Sunday Times understands that the weather was clear at the time.

An army-wide safety timeout on training has since been called with immediate effect to ensure all appropriate safety measures are in place, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

He lost consciousness and was attended to immediately by an on-site medic. The SAF Emergency Ambulance Service and the Singapore Civil Defence Force were activated at 10.17am and were on-site at 10.30am.

CFC Liu, however, was pronounced dead at around 10.35am, said Mindef.

The army is rendering assistance and support to the family of CFC Liu.

A former secondary schoolmate of the full-time national serviceman, who declined to be named, said: "He always seemed like an approachable and 'chill' guy.

 
 
 

"I'm quite shocked and sad at this news. I didn't expect something like this to happen to someone I know."

They were from a mission school in a northern neighbourhood of Singapore.

In September last year, Third Sergeant Gavin Chan, 21, died in an incident in Australia during Exercise Wallaby, which is Singapore's biggest overseas deployment of military personnel.

3SG Chan, who was the vehicle commander, had been guiding a Bionix Infantry Fighting Vehicle out of difficult terrain that day when it landed on its side.

He was found unconscious next to the vehicle, while the driver and two passengers were unhurt.

The COI convened at that time recommended that the SAF review its training safety on the position of the Armoured Fighting Vehicle Commander.

For instance, if the vehicle commander is unable to execute the overturning drill where he must be able to drop quickly into the vehicle, the vehicle must stop.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 04, 2018, with the headline 'NSF dies in vehicle collision during local field exercise'. Print Edition | Subscribe