Two Killed In Howitzer Chamber Explosion


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A 155mm artillery round exploded in the barrel of a FH2000 gun howitzer on Sunday in Waiouru, New Zealand, during a live firing exercise conducted by the 23rd Battalion, Singapore Artillery. The incident resulted in the death of two full-time national servicemen, Third Sergeant Ronnie Tan Han Chong and Lance Corporal Low Yin Tit. Another 12 servicemen, including a Staff Sergeant from the New Zealand Defence Force, were injured in the incident. The most probable cause of the incident was a defective fuze that was attached to the 155mm shell which was loaded into the gun howitzer. The defective fuze resulted in the premature explosion. After the incident, the lot of fuzes from which the defective fuze came was X-rayed. 1.3% of the fuzes were found to be defective.

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