The 21-year-old Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) full-time national serviceman who died on Friday at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Queensland, Australia, was guiding a vehicle out of difficult terrain when it landed on its side.
The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said in an update yesterday that 3rd Sergeant (3SG) Gavin Chan Hiang Cheng, who was the vehicle commander of a Bionix Infantry Fighting Vehicle, was found unconscious next to the vehicle.
The driver and two other passengers travelling in the vehicle were unhurt, the statement said.
An SAF medic carried out resuscitation on 3SG Chan, and two SAF medical officers arrived shortly after to treat him.
He was evacuated via an SAF helicopter to Rockhampton Airport, and later transferred by local ambulance to Rockhampton Hospital, where he died from his injuries.
He was pronounced dead at 10.36pm Singapore time on Friday.
3SG Chan’s next of kin arrived in Australia yesterday morning, accompanied by family-liaison officers from the SAF.
The serviceman, who was from the 41st Battalion Singapore Armoured Regiment, was taking part in Exercise Wallaby when the incident happened at 6.15pm (Singapore time).
Exercise Wallaby, an annual event now in its 27th year, is the SAF’s largest unilateral overseas drill.
Mindef said that an investigation into the incident is ongoing. It added that a safety pause on training in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area has taken effect.
Mindef and SAF said that they are assisting 3SG Chan’s family in this time of grief.
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