Fatal RMAF training explosion: Investigation body comprises experts in explosives, says Mohamad

SEREMBAN: The investigation body established by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) to identify the cause of the accident involving its personnel at the Syed Sirajuddin Camp in Gemas, near here yesterday, will comprise a panel of experts especially in the field of explosives.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said the investigation will be carried out in detail, covering various aspects including the possibility of a violation of standard operating procedures (SOP) during the support weapons and hand grenade training session.

"We can't have just about anyone (as investigators), we must have people who are experts and trained in the handling of explosives for us to identify the cause of the incident.

"I can't be certain when it will be resolved but the investigation body has been appointed… the air force chief (General Tan Sri Datuk Sri Mohd Asghar Khan Goriman Khan) went to the scene this morning to check out the condition there. Alhamdulillah there is a witness who is an expert in the handling of explosives," he said.

He said this after attending the funeral for a student at the Institute of Administration and Management Studies (INSTAR), Sendayan Air Base, Aircraftman Mohd Iqmal Masdi, 22, who was killed in the accident.

Corporal Syuib Bidin, 33, who was injured in the 12.10pm incident succumbed to his injuries at 5.45pm while being treated at Segamat Hospital in Johor while another trainer, Corporal Khairuzaman Lokman, 35, is reported to be in stable condition.

Mohamad said the existing SOP for the use of weapons is already strict, prepared by experts in explosives and each trainee is accompanied by a trainer during training.

"…the incident occurred inside a bunker, that's why the investigation must be done carefully, all kinds of things can happen when dealing with explosives... the SOP ias already strict as prepared by the experts," he said.

On behalf of the armed forces (ATM), he expressed grief over the passing of their members and asked the public not to speculate as this could hurt the feelings of the family members of the victims.

Iqmal was laid to rest at 6.30pm at the Kampung Rawa Ulu Muslim cemetery in Lenggeng here according to the military funeral rites, attended by more than 500 armed forces personnel. — BERNAMA

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