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Bionix vehicle that reversed into CFC Liu Kai’s Land Rover was responding to simulated enemy encounter

SINGAPORE — The Bionix armoured vehicle that reversed into and subsequently mounted a Land Rover — killing full-time National Serviceman (NSF) Liu Kai who was in the driver's seat — was responding to a simulated enemy encounter, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Monday (Nov 19).

The funeral for the late Corporal First Class Liu Kai on Nov 5, 2018.

The funeral for the late Corporal First Class Liu Kai on Nov 5, 2018.

Singapore

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SINGAPORE — The Bionix armoured vehicle that reversed into and subsequently mounted a Land Rover — killing full-time National Serviceman (NSF) Liu Kai who was in the driver's seat — was responding to a simulated enemy encounter, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Monday (Nov 19).

A trainer was also in the Land Rover with the late Corporal First Class (CFC) Liu during the incident which occurred at a training exercise on Nov 3, added Dr Ng in a written response to questions filed by several Members of Parliament. CFC Liu succumbed to his injuries, while the trainer was unhurt.

Shedding more light on the incident, Dr Ng also announced that an external review panel will be convened by the Ministry of Defence to review current policies and measures on combat vehicle safety.

An independent Committee of Inquiry has been set up to look into the incident and police investigations are ongoing.  

On the morning of Nov 3, CFC Liu’s Land Rover was parked behind the Bionix armoured vehicle, which was part of the exercise.

During a simulated enemy encounter, the Bionix vehicle reversed into the Land Rover and partially mounted it.

Training was immediately stopped, and an on-site medic attended to CFC Liu, Dr Ng said. The Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) emergency ambulance service, unit medical officer, as well as the Singapore Civil Defence Force arrived to attend to CFC Liu, who later died from his injuries.

In determining the cause of the incident, Dr Ng said “there are obviously a number of questions that need to be answered”. These include whether safety protocols were followed by the crews of the Land Rover and Bionix vehicle, whether the Bionix vehicle’s crew was aware of the Land Rover behind it, whether there was any mechanical malfunction of the vehicles, and whether the safety officers and vehicle commanders performed their responsibilities.

He noted that over the past three years, the army has been deploying more regular servicemen to “supervise and conduct the training of our full-time National Servicemen”.

It is also reviewing the experience level and roles of supervising, conducting, and safety officers.

CFC Liu’s death is the second training-related vehicular incident resulting in death in the past three years, Dr Ng said.

On Sept 15 last year, Third Sergeant (3SG) Gavin Chan was killed in a vehicular incident during an overseas exercise in Australia.

Then, 3SG Chan was guiding a Bionix Infantry Fighting Vehicle out of difficult terrain — as part of Exercise Wallaby — when the vehicle landed on its side.

CFC Liu’s death is also the second training death to occur this year. CFC Dave Lee died in hospital on April 30, about two weeks after suffering from heat injuries in Bedok Camp following the completion of an 8km fast march.

Related topics

Liu Kai death SAF Bionix

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