A 21-year-old Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) full-time national serviceman was injured during unilateral parachute training in Taiwan. The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) stated on Friday, December 20 that he sustained a cervical spine injury during a training on Wednesday night.
Injured NSF hospitalized
After the incident, PTE Joshua Quek Shou Jie was immediately taken to the nearest hospital in Taiwan where he underwent surgery on Thursday morning, December 19. A Singaporean orthopaedic specialist has been flown to Taiwan to provide further medical care.
MINDEF stated that the surgery was completed without any complications and his condition is currently stable. In addition, the ministry also mentioned that "PTE Quek is being monitored in the Intensive Care Unit and further treatment to stabilise the cervical spine injury is planned."
The family of the injured NSF
His family members have been flown in to visit PTE Quek at the hospital. When his parents talked to him, the injured NSF was conscious and lucid. As per MINDEF, PTE Quek's family has asked that their privacy be respected while the injured NSF undergoes further treatment for his recovery.
The ministry, as well as SAF, stated that they will continue to provide full support and required assistance to the family of the victim. They also mentioned that this incident is under investigation while the authority has suspended the training.
Accident during training program
It should be mentioned that this is not the first time when such an incident took place during training. Earlier Aloysius Pang, who was an Armament Technician from the 268th Battalion Singapore Artillery had been taking part in Exercise Thunder Warrior at the Waiouru training area in New Zealand and was seriously injured during a military exercise on January 19 this year.
He underwent three surgeries at Waikato Hospital and later, doctors put him under artificial support for his lungs, kidneys and heart. After a few days, MINDEF stated that "Despite surgical attempts to repair damaged organs and putting him on artificial life support, CFC (NS) Pang succumbed to the injuries and passed away."
Last year in November, another full-time national serviceman PTE Liu Kai, aged 22, died after he was involved in a vehicular incident at Jalan Murai training area. A 28-year-old SAF officer was also charged for doing a rash act causing death not amounting to culpable homicide.
In the same year, a 19-year-old NSF, Lee Han Xuan Dave, died after displaying signs of heat injury in Bedok Camp.