In a serious accident involving two Puma infantry fighting vehicles, twelve soldiers were injured on Wednesday at the Army Combat Training Center (GÜZ) in Saxony-Anhalt. One of them suffered serious injuries, said a Bundeswehr spokesman for the German Press Agency.
According to the information available, the two vehicles collided during an exercise at a higher speed. The seriously injured man was taken to a hospital by rescue helicopter. All other soldiers involved in the accident received medical care afterwards.
The soldiers belong to a unit from Munster in Lower Saxony, as a Bundeswehr spokesman confirmed. According to the Bundeswehr, the military police carried out investigations into the course of the accident and the possible causes, which were initially unclear.
Defense Minister Pistorius is concerned
Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD), who was visiting troops in Augustdorf in Westphalia, was concerned by the incident. He expresses his condolences to the injured and wishes a speedy recovery, he told journalists.
The GÜZ near Gardelegen is a central army training center for the Puma infantry fighting vehicle. There had recently been problems with the weapon system: During a shooting exercise, all 18 armored personnel carriers used failed.
According to the Ministry of Defence, a damage analysis mainly revealed minor and medium-sized damage. Buying more Puma tanks and using them for the NATO Rapid Reaction Force (VJTF) have been put on hold for the time being. However, according to the Bundeswehr, the tanks involved in the accident were from a different production series than the vehicles that failed.