Thu, May 22, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Singaporean probe makes open verdict on soldier's death

DPA , SINGAPORE

An open verdict was reached on the death of a Singaporean soldier who died after a Taiwanese fighter jet smashed into a training camp in Hsinchu County last year, killing the pilot, co-pilot and two people on the ground, news reports said yesterday.

State Coroner Victor Yeo said that without a final report from the Taiwanese military, he could not determine the cause of the accident, the Straits Times said.

Details of the crash on May 11 last year were recounted during the coroner’s inquiry on Tuesday into the death of Lance Corporal Calvin Chow Han Min, a 19-year-old supply assistant.

Chow, who was cleaning his gun when the jet spiraled toward the camp in Hukou (湖口), Hsinchu County, suffered severe burns and died 17 days later in a Singapore hospital.

The Singapore Infantry Regiment was in Taiwan for unilateral training from May 4 to May 20, the court heard. A private and third sergeant died at the camp, while Chow and another serviceman were airlifted to Singapore.

A preliminary report on the crash by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said it could have been caused by a combination of pilot error, low visibility and technical problems.

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