An air force corporal died from injuries sustained on Monday when a military aircraft tire that was being retreaded at a base in Pingtung County exploded, the air force said yesterday.
At a news conference yesterday, Huang Jong-chyi (黃仲奇), vice chief of staff for logistics at Air Force Command, said the corporal, surnamed Chang (長), had died earlier in the day from severe injuries.
An airport worker assisting Chang also suffered injuries in the blast and was being monitored in an intensive care ward of a local hospital.
Huang said the explosion occurred as the corporal and the worker, surnamed Lin (林), were performing maintenance work on the tire.
“The preliminary investigation showed that the accident may have resulted from a failure to release the air inside the tire before removing the tire’s old tread,” Huang said, adding that a task force had been set up to look into the accident.
However, Huang cautioned that the finding was preliminary and further information was needed to determine the actual cause of the accident.
The task force would also seek further information from Lin when his condition improves, Huang said.
Chief of General Staff Admiral Lin Chen-yi (林鎮夷) traveled south to express his condolences to Chang’s family, Ministry of National Defense spokesman David Lo (羅紹和) said.
The ministry “feels very sorry” about the accident, Lo said, and pledged that the military would make efforts to prevent similar accidents in the future.