Six killed by stray US bomb in training exercise

Click to follow
The Independent US

The reputation of the American military was further tarnished after at least six people were killed and 10 others badly injured yesterday in an accident on a bombing practice range in Kuwait.

The reputation of the American military was further tarnished after at least six people were killed and 10 others badly injured yesterday in an accident on a bombing practice range in Kuwait.

A month after nine crew members of a Japanese trawler were killed when their vessel was destroyed by a surfacing US submarine, another inquiry was launched after a Navy pilot dropped a 500lb bomb, which missed its target and exploded near a group of observers.

Four of those killed were US military personnel while a fifth casualty was a New Zealander. The nationality of the sixth victim was not immediately known. Of the injured, most were soldiers, including two Kuwaitis.

The incident happened at about 7.30pm local time (4.30pm GMT) on the Udari bombing range in northern Kuwait, 30 miles from the Iraqi border, during a joint US/Kuwaiti exercise taking place in darkness. The bomb was dropped from an F-18 Hornet fighter based on the aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman.

The fighter returned to the carrier after the incident.

Specific details of the accident were initially unclear and the Pentagon would only officially say there had been a "training accident" that had resulted in some casualties.

President George Bush, speaking in Florida, where he was detailing his budget proposals, said: "I'm reminded today of how dangerous service can be. We lost some servicemen today in Kuwait in a training accident." He asked the crowd to join in a moment's silence for the casualties.

Comments