Navy member killed in demolition accident

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A member of the South African Navy died early Friday morning after succumbing to injuries sustained whilst destroying old ammunition and pyrotechnics.

A Navy spokesperson said that the sailor passed away early on Friday morning, having “succumbed to second degree burn injuries sustained during a demolition accident at Touws River.”

The member was part of a demolition team dispatched to Touws River to destroy unserviceable ammunition and pyrotechnics. According to the Navy, the deceased was transferred from Worcester General Hospital to 2 Military Hospital in Wynberg, Cape Town, where he passed away during the early morning hours.

A Board of Inquiry has been established to investigate the cause of the accident. The particulars of the deceased will be released at a later stage.

Touws River is home to the Army School for Logistical Training, as well as the Touws River Training Area. The Defence Force has re-classified the shooting ranges and training areas at Touws River into demolition ranges.

This has been a tragic week for the Defence Force, with eleven Air Force members killed when their C-47TP Dakota aircraft crashed in the Giant Castle area within the Drakensberg Mountain range on 5 December 2012.

The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Secretary of Defence, the Chief of SANDF and Chief of the South African Navy have sent their condolences to the member’s family and the broader naval community.