22-Year-Old NSF Passed Away Within 25 Minutes

In just 25 minutes, the life of a young Singaporean man, and the lives of his friends and family were irrevocably changed forever.

MINDEF released a statement on Saturday (3 Nov) evening, about a vehicular incident at Jalan Murai training area, to the shock of friends and family of full-time National Serviceman, Private Liu Kai (PTE Liu).

Based in SAF’s Transport Hub West, he was a 22-year-old Transport Operator from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

Here’s what we know about the ‘incident’ thus far.

Training incident led to death

On Saturday morning, PTE Liu was driving a ‘Land Rover’ during a regular “field training exercise”.

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A Bionix vehicle, operated by unnamed personnel, “reversed” into the Land Rover he was driving at 10:10AM.

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Liu Kai “lost consciousness”, but was given immediate medical attention on-site by a medic. An SAF Emergency Ambulance and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) were called at 10:17AM, and they reached PTE Liu at 10:30AM.

However, Liu Kai “succumbed to his injuries” and was “pronounced dead” at 10:35AM.

We take a closer look at the vehicles involved in the ‘incident’.

Land Rover vs Bionix

PTE Liu was driving a Series III Defender 110 — nicknamed Land Rover by NSFs. Army regulars confirm that it is one of the most versatile vehicles in battle, across ranks and vocations.

From acting as a rations wagon, water transporter, cargo carrier, to general transport for officers and generals, the Land Rover can be driven by enlistees, specialists, enciks or commissioned officers alike with the proper authorisation.

Bionix 25 (left), Bionix 40/50 (right)

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The Bionix on the other hand, has a combat weight of 23,000 kg — approximately the weight of 22 Toyota Corolla cars. The Bionix can house up to 3 personnel – a commander, gunner and driver,  plus 7 combat troops (2-men turret) or 9 combat troops (40/50 version).

Gunners have a field of view “to the right and to the rear” of the vehicle via three-day periscopes, while a commander may access a “secondary optical relay” with five day-periscopes giving him front, left and rear fields of views.

The Bionix also boasts road speeds of 70km/h and 25-40km/h across country.

No further details were released on which Bionix model was involved in the incident.

Army-wide safety timeout on training

A Committee of Inquiry (COI) has been set up to investigate “the circumstances leading to the incident”.

We hope the investigation uncovers how a massive tank like this, with multiple rear fields of views could have backed into a Land Rover accidentally.

There’ll also be an army-wide “safety timeout on training” with immediate effect, to make sure all “appropriate safety measures” are in place.

Paying tribute to a fallen soldier

Fresh off the back of NSF Dave Lee‘s untimely death from “heat-related injuries“, well-wishes and sympathetic comments have poured in from Singaporeans in light of the tragedy.

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Concerned parents also chimed in about preventing further similar incidents from occurring, before their boys went to serve.

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Others offered their heartfelt thanks to PTE Liu for doing his duty, and for making the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

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MS News would also like to offer our condolences to the family and friends of PTE Liu during this difficult time.

We hope SAF’s investigation will be swift and effective, to grant the grieving parties some semblance of closure on the case.

Also read:

3 Other NSF Deaths That Have Sparked A Committee Of Inquiry – And The One That Didn’t

Featured image from Army Technology and Torque Singapore.