Dutch tank accidentally fired at soldiers

A Dutch CV90 tank

Two weeks ago a soldier in a Dutch tank accidentally fired a missile during training while three other Dutch soldiers were still in the field, the Ministry of Defense reported on Thursday. No one was injured.

The incident happened with a CV90 tank during training at the NATO terrain in Bergen-Hohne in Germany on March 22nd. The tank, equipped with a 35 millimeter canon, fired a missile during the penultimate exercise. At the time there were three soldiers in the area, within firing range. They took cover and escaped the incident unharmed. 

The commander of 43 Mechanized Brigade immediately ordered an investigation. It concluded that the main cause of this dangerous situation was loss of concentration during the final phase of the shooting practice. A communication fault also played a role. Defense is taking this incident seriously. The incident will be included as an example in the training courses, and in safety briefings prior to shooting practices, the Ministry said.

A spokesperson for Defense emphasized to RTL Nieuws that the three soldiers were not in the line of sight of the soldier in the tank. "Then the shooter would have seen them." If they were standing on another spot in the field, they could have been killed. "This never should have happened", the spokesperson said.