• Kyodo

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Three Taiwanese soldiers died and one was severely injured Tuesday after their tank fell into a river in the southern part of the island, local media reported.

The accident occurred at the Wangha river in Pingtung County as the army tank was returning to its base following a live-fire training drill, the Central News Agency said, citing the army.

The four victims had to be pulled out of the tank and were rushed to a hospital, where three were pronounced dead and one saw his pulse return after emergency treatment. A fifth soldier, the driver, managed to get out on his own and suffered only minor injuries.

The tank is a CM-11 Brave Tiger, a Taiwan variant of the M48 Patton main battle tank designed in the United States.

The driver reportedly said it lost its balance while trying to make a right turn as the left track got stuck while the right track operated normally.

The training drill came ahead of the annual Han Kuang exercises, Taiwan’s largest annual war games, which will begin next Monday and continue for five days to test the island’s ability to fend off Chinese attack by sea, air and land.

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