Swiss army says 3 soldiers killed, 2 missing during training
13 June 2008
SPIEZ – A boating accident during a Swiss military exercise Thursday killed at least three soldiers and left two others missing, the army said.
Five soldiers were injured, two of them seriously, in the accident on the Kander River, army spokesman Felix Endrich said at a news conference.
Two inflatable vessels were involved in the accident, which occurred near Wimmis, about 40 kilometres south of the capital, Bern.
Rescuers are scouring the river with helicopters and dogs for the missing soldiers, but air force chief Walter Knutti told Swiss television SF that the chances of finding them alive are slim.
The accident involved members of an air transportation unit who were taking part in a training exercise.
The cause of the accident was under investigation, military justice spokeswoman Silvia Schenker said.
Defence Minister Samuel Schmid cancelled a planned trip to a NATO meeting in Brussels, Belgium, to deliver a statement to Parliament on the incident.
It was the second serious accident involving the Swiss Army in less than a year. In July, six soldiers were killed in an avalanche as they tried to scale a mountain during a training exercise.
[AP / Expatica]