Samil goes off KZN bridge, five soldiers injured


Five KwaZulu-Natal-based soldiers suffered injuries from minor to critical when the Samil 20 they were in crashed through a bridge railing, plunging into a spruit seven metres below.

The crash, according to the Directorate: Corporate Communication (DCC) of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), happened on Monday when the military truck was on a replenishment run from Boschhoek training area to 5 SA Infantry Battalion in Ladysmith.

A DCC statement has it the five injured soldiers were taken to two Ladysmith hospitals for observation and treatment. As is standard operating procedure for accidents, crashes and incidents in the national defence force the Samil bridge crash will be subject to investigation.

The truck, according to the Ladysmith Herald, was reportedly on a dirt road and the driver apparently lost control when the Samil was on the bridge. This saw it “crash down” to the spruit some seven metres below.

“The driver was trapped while other passengers crawled from the collapsed metal mangled wreck on its roof among rocks and in half-metre deep water. The driver’s lower body was trapped by metal and Fire and Rescue Unit members from Alfred Duma Municipality utilised the Jaws of Life to free him. Other soldiers were stabilised and treated before being carried to awaiting ambulances on the spruit banks,” was how the Herald described the aftermath of the crash.