On 3 November during training at the Jalan Murai training area, a Bionix vehicle reversed into the Land Rover that PTE Liu Kai, 22, was driving, causing him to lose consciousness. Despite being attended to by a medic immediately, followed by SCDF and the SAF Emergency Ambulance Service, he was pronounced dead around 25 minutes after the accident. Worse still, that fateful day was his sister’s birthday. As of press time, no further information is available.
The army has since declared an army-wide safety timeout on training to ensure “all appropriate safety measures” are in place and is currently conducting an investigation. He was also posthumously promoted to CFC.
Why is this significant?
With the recent chain of training-related deaths from heatstroke, a falling tree branch and vehicular overturn, the public has questioned the safety of trainings conducted for Full-time National Servicemen (NSF). Despite SAF’s claims that safety is one of its eight core values and appropriate safety protocols have been implemented, the public still believes that much needs to be done to ensure that every Singaporean son can return safe and sound to their parents.
After each NSF’s death, MINDEF will convene an independent Committee of Inquiry (COI) to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident and implement additional safety measures if necessary such as enhancing management of heat injuries after a heatstroke death, hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself. However, what matters most is that servicemen must take safety protocols seriously and report any breach. Servicemen must also always remember that there will always be another day to train.