A delivery man making a stop at a mechanics factory in Yangmei (楊梅), Taoyuan County, on Tuesday was hit by a stray bullet thought to have originated from the Shuanglianpo (雙連坡) Camp’s target practice area about 2km away in Pingjhen City (平鎮), the military’s Sixth Army Corps said.
Sung Yun-hsiung (宋雲雄) said he had reached the factory’s main door to deliver his package when he suddenly felt a stinging pain in his left bicep.
“Almost simultaneously, I heard shots being fired in the distance and I automatically drew the conclusion that I’d been hit by a stray bullet from the target practice range,” Sung said, adding that factory personnel called an ambulance to take him to a local hospital.
A visiting staff physician at Ten Chen Medical Group’s Emergency Room in Yangmei, Chang Ming-jen (張明仁), said there were two 5mm wounds on Sung’s upper-left bicep, but X-rays showed the bullet had not hit bone.
Sung did not lose a significant amount of blood and was able to leave an hour after he was patched up, Chang said.
The police said they found a 5.56mm round on the scene that matched those fired from a T65-K2 or a T-91 carbine rifle.
Sixth Army Corps chief Major General Tseng Chi-wei (曾紀委) said the corps’ cavalry brigade, the air force’s tactical suppression regiment and troops from the Combined Logistics’ Command’s third district headquarters were all at the practice range on Tuesday.
There were about 300 personnel practicing with T65-K2s and T-91s, both of which use 5.56mm rounds, Tseng said, adding the army would have to verify which kind of gun had fired the round.
The T-91 has a range of between 800m and 1,000m, including parabolic trajectory, Tseng said, adding that the distance between the range and the factory doors was about 1km or 2km, so it was possible that it was a stray round from the range.
However, there was a 50m long, 20m high and 1m thick wall at the rear of the practice range, with a dirt mound behind it to prevent stray bullets from injuring passer-bys, Tseng said.
He said the military would be looking into how the bullet had strayed outside the base.
Locals say firing practices are held every month, and while the army did not give any warning of Tuesday’s practice, everyone knew about it. They also said there had been no previous incident of a stray bullet hitting someone.
However, the military command said it had concluded it had to revise firing practice procedures and ordered that the borough warden’s office be notified about future firing practices.