Six soldiers die, three injured after veld fire spreads to Northern Cape military base

The veld fire that gutted a SANDF base in the Northern Cape.
The veld fire that gutted a SANDF base in the Northern Cape.

Six soldiers died and three were injured after a veld fire spread to a military base in the Northern Cape on Friday.

According to SA National Defence Force spokesperson Maj-Gen René Mercuur, the fire rolled over from the western border of a mine located next to the South African Army Combat Training Centre (CTC) at about 1.45pm.

“Elements of the SA Army are currently deployed in the vicinity in preparation for the annual army exercise, Exercise Vukuhlome, and were deployed in the vicinity the fire occurred.

“It was reported that six soldiers lost their lives during this incident, and three were injured with second degree burns and evacuated to the nearest hospital. The names of the deceased soldiers will be released once the next of kin have been informed,” he said.

“At the moment the focus is to contain the fire and to account for all members who were in the area where the fire occurred. The fire brigade are doing everything in their power to extinguish the fire which has resulted in destroying camping equipment and vehicles.”

Mercuur said the SANDF is “currently assessing the situation on the ground” and would provide more information on the incident during the course of the day.

SANDF top brass extended their “deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the six SA Army members who tragically lost their lives in the line of duty”.



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