Nine soldiers were injured, two seriously, after an explosion at an ammunition depot at the Hsiang Feng military base in Keelung yesterday, the Ministry of National Defense said.
The blast occurred at about 3pm, when a 120mm mortar round exploded during an inspection by technical personnel, the ministry said, adding that the cause of the explosion is under investigation.
Emergency services said that they transported six of the injured soldiers to Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Keelung, and five of them were treated for scrapes, ringing ears and dizziness.
Photo: Wu Sheng-ju, Taipei Times
A staff sergeant surnamed Hung (洪), whose right thigh and left arm were severely disfigured in the blast, arrived at the hospital without vital signs, but was successfully revived, the hospital said.
A 34-year-old sergeant surnamed Yin (尹), who had second and third-degree burns on his arms and face, and whose left arm was extensively damaged, was taken to Tri Service General Hospital’s Keelung branch.
Although Yin was able to respond to doctors’ questions upon arriving at the hospital, he was later intubated and transferred to Tri-Service General Hospital’s branch in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖), hospital deputy superintendent Liu Jui-meng (劉瑞盟) said.
The other two soldiers sought medical attention on their own, the military said.
The ammunition depot where the explosion occurred is operated by the Third Branch of the Sixth Army Command. The base is on the east side of Keelung’s inner harbor, northeast of the city’s downtown area.
The ministry has yet to say whether the accident was related to the annual Han Kuang military exercises, which started yesterday in northern Taiwan and run through Friday.
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