NSF injured in Taiwan parachute training back in Singapore

In a photo taken on May 14, 2013, a string of parachutes blooms behind a C-130 Hercules. Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said the SAF conducts about 6,000 static-line parachute jumps every year.
In a photo taken on May 14, 2013, a string of parachutes blooms behind a C-130 Hercules. Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said the SAF conducts about 6,000 static-line parachute jumps every year.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) full-time national serviceman who was injured in a parachute incident in Taiwan is back home.

The Ministry of Defence said that Private Joshua Quek Shou Jie, 21, arrived in Singapore on Thusday (Jan 16) evening and was taken to a hospital.

He was flown back in a Republic of Singapore Air Force A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport configured for aeromedical evacuation after doctors assessed his condition was stable enough for him to fly.

Mindef said Pte Quek was accompanied by a team of medical specialists from the SAF, comprising medical officers and military medical experts, who monitored his condition closely during the flight.

"The aeromedical evacuation was successfully completed without any complications," the Ministry said.

It departed Kaohsiung, Taiwan, just before 3pm. The flight took about four hours.

Pte Quek had been hospitalised in Taiwan since a training incident on Dec 18 last year (2019) led to a cervical spine injury.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in a written reply in Parliament last week (Jan 6) that preliminary findings revealed that Pte Quek was doing his fifth and final jump for his Basic Airborne Course at night when the accident happened.

A cord that attached his parachute to the aircraft had interfered with his jump.

 
 
 

The cord swept across his neck as he exited the aircraft, said Dr Ng.

Pte Quek was evacuated by an on-site ambulance to the nearest tertiary hospital, where he had two surgical operations.

The injury he sustained resulted in neurological deficits, including weakness of his upper and lower limbs.

Dr Ng said then that while in hospital in Taiwan, Pte Quek was able to breathe without assistance and talk to his family.

He added that Pte Quek's condition was stable and that he would be brought back to Singapore when the specialists deem it safe for him to fly.