The Control Yuan yesterday urged the military to more rigorously enforce regulations, after a soldier was killed another was injured while performing maintenance on a tank in southern Taiwan in July last year.
The agency, which investigates and disciplines public servants and agencies, said the Ministry of National Defense and the Army Command Headquarters failed to supervise military officers responsible for training conscripts performing their compulsory four-month military service.
That failure resulted in the death of 24-year-old conscript Chuan Jo-yao (全若堯), who was about to be discharged before the incident.
The army said that Chuan and a sergeant surnamed Chiang (蔣) were enlisted with the 564th Army Brigade under the 8th Army Corps, and were undergoing training at the Joint Operations Training Base Command in Pingtung County when the incident occurred on July 21.
While performing maintenance on a CM-11 tank, Chuan was struck by the gun breach inside the turret, while Chiang was hit by the gun barrel outside the vehicle, “due to an abnormality in the turret stabilization system,” the army said.
Chuan was pinned underneath the gun breach and was later pronounced dead in a hospital, while Chiang sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
The army later punished and demoted several military officers after they were deemed to have failed to follow military regulations.
Citing ministry and army regulations, the Control Yuan said that conscripts such as Chuan who are performing their compulsory military service are not allowed to engage in high-risk tasks.
However, Chuan’s superiors apparently disregarded the regulation and ordered him to maintain the tank, which is considered a high-risk task that can only be performed by certified military personnel serving voluntarily.
The ministry’s and army’s disregard of potential risk factors, coupled with their violation of training regulations, led to the deadly accident, the Control Yuan said, urging them to conduct a thorough review.
The ministry and the army said they respect the Control Yuan’s report and have taken corrective steps to make sure a similar incident does not happen.
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