Rocket system bursts during live-fire drill in Taiwan

Beijing, June 20 (EFE).– Taiwan’s multiple-launch rocket system burst inadvertently during a live-fire combat rehearsal in the island’s southeast on Monday, the defense ministry said.

According to the CNA news agency, the accidental explosion of the Thunderbolt-2000 missile system, meant to resist possible amphibious and sea attacks from mainland China, caused no injuries.

A rocket became trapped in the system, causing the propellant to catch fire and inflicting damage to the vehicle on which the launcher was placed at the Jiupeng military facility, the ministry said.

The drill was promptly halted following the incident, according to the ministry.

Ray-Ting 2000, a locally created system, has a range of around 100 kilometers.

It’s the latest in a string of military mishaps that have cast doubt on the island’s battle readiness.

Seven mishaps involving the island’s air force’s planes and helicopters have resulted in the deaths of 13 servicemen.

It is, however, the first time the Thunderbolt rocket system, which was launched in 2012, has faced an accident.

Residents in the region have sought an explanation after hearing a loud explosion and seeing columns of smoke pouring from the training area.

“Local residents in nearby townships are fearful of the potential danger and demand assurances that there will be no recurrence,” Manzhou Township deputy representative Ku Tsung-hsun told CNA.


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