Nine Canadian soldiers, injured Wednesday in a training accident at 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown in New Brunswick, were all released from hospital by late afternoon.
Five soldiers with minor injuries had been treated on the base, while another four were taken to hospital in Fredericton with what were described as serious injuries.
Base Public Affairs Officer Capt. Evelyn Lemire said all the soldiers are members of The Second Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment.
She said they were engaged in routine training when the light armoured vehicle they were travelling in “hit an embankment” around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in the training area of the sprawling base.
The New Brunswick base, which opened in 1958, has a training area that covers 1,100 square kilometres.
“An investigation to determine the cause of the incident will be conducted,” Lemire said.
She would not release any medical or personal information about the injured soldiers.
Lemire described the vehicle as a LAV 6.0 light armoured vehicle.
Lee Windsor, deputy director of the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society, is very familiar with the vehicles as a former member of the Canadian Forces, and as an academic who continues to study Canada’s military.
“It’s an eight-wheeled armoured infantry fighting vehicle. It’s got a turret with a 25-millimetre gun that’s capable of fighting almost like a light tank,” Windsor said.
He said its primary function is to carry infantry soldiers close to an enemy’s position where they can dismount and fight on foot.
Windsor said it’s an excellent design that can cover a lot of terrain in a short period of time.
“There’s a tremendous amount of inertia that gets rolling when a vehicle that size and that weight is moving cross country, and if it hits something immobile it brings things to a sudden stop,” he said.
Windsor said if the LAV hit an embankment, soldiers inside could have been tossed around.
Still, Windsor said he owes his life to a LAV that protected him from an attack in Afghanistan in 2007.
“I was travelling with The 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment and got hit by an IED and an ambush. The armour protection and the design of the vehicle enabled us to survive. Nobody was seriously hurt as a result,” he said.
The investigation into Wednesday’s training incident has begun, but Lemire said she had no idea when there might be any results.Report Typo/Error