Navy sailor wounded in gun misfire

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Navy sailor wounded in gun misfire

A sailor on a patrol boat was critically wounded after a naval gun misfired and was transferred to a local hospital for emergency surgery, the Navy said on Thursday.

According to a Navy official, the accident took place on Wednesday afternoon on the Hwang Dohyun, a guided-missile patrol killer of the Navy’s 2nd Fleet.

During a naval exercise in the waters off Taean, South Chungcheong, a 76-millimeter naval gun malfunctioned during preparations for a firing drill. Because the sailors could not properly load the gun, the ship canceled the exercise and returned to the port in Pyeongtaek.

“When the gun could not be loaded, the power to the gun was shut down on its way to the port,” said a Navy official. “When the ship approached near the port, the power was turned back on to remove the unloaded shell, based on the manual. As soon as the gun was turned back on, it suddenly discharged.”

The misfired shell wounded a 21-year-old sailor who was preparing for port entry on the prow of the ship.

The seaman suffered a critical wound to his head and was sent to the Ajou University Hospital for emergency surgery. According to the Navy, the sailor remained unconscious as of Thursday afternoon.

The sailor joined the Navy in September last year and was assigned to the ship in November.

The misfired shell was reported to have flown 2.2 kilometers (1.3 miles) and then self-destructed. No other damage was reported. The Navy is conducting an investigation into the misfire and safeguard measures based on the manual. The gun was produced in Italy, it said, and that its functions have been upgraded since its installment.

BY SER MYO-JA [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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