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Four soldiers drown during military exercise in Kazakhstan 25 сентября 2015, 17:39

Four soldiers have drowned during the second stage of Center 2015 military drills in Aktau, Kazakhstan.
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Photo courtecy of  Lada.kz Photo courtecy of Lada.kz

Four soldiers have drowned during military drills near Aktau in western Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports citing the press-service of the Ministry of Defence of Kazakhstan.

The accident happened on September 18 during the second stage of Center 2015 military drills near the city of Aktau 5 km from Oimasha military range. Center 2015 was a joint military exercise conducted to test the forces of Collective Security Treaty Organization member-states. The drills involved about 95,000 servicemen, more than 7,000 military vehicles, around 170 aircrafts and 20 ships.

According to the information provided by the Ministry of Defence, during exercising of amphibious landing and subsequent blocking of the beachhead, 6 armored vehicles BTR-80 and 52 soldier went into the sea. “After they crossed a distance of about 150 meters in the sea, a gust of strong wind brought a high wave that covered the group and four BTR-80 vehicles sank in the sea. Two vehicles managed to return to the shore on their own,” the press-service said.  As a result, four servicemen died, and two were severely injured. 

Private Bagytzhan Kalybai ©ktk.kz 

Private Bagytzhan Kalybai ©ktk.kz

On the same day a pre-trial investigation was initiated under Part 2 of Article 453 of the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan: Negligent attitude to service resulting in grave consequences. The same day the Minister of Defense Imangali Tasmagambetov ordered the Chief Inspectorate of the Ministry of Defense to urgently form a special group to find out all the details and causes of the accident.

"Initial findings indicate that the incident occurred due to poor decision making during exercising the amphibious landing in the absence of landing equipment," the statement of the Ministry's press-service said.

Private Asylzhan Makhambetov ©ktk

Kazakh Defense Minister Imangali Tasmagambetov suspended and recommend dismissal of the commander of the Regional Command West Colonel Murat Nugmanov, dismissed his first deputy commander and Chief of Staff Colonel Rizat Kolpashev, deputy commander for combat training Colonel Mergen Tolykbayev and marines brigade commander Lieutenant Colonel Yerbulat Tolykbayev. Later, the extent of their responsibility for the tragedy will be determined by the court based to the results of investigations conducted by military prosecutors.

Baurzhan Zholdybai graduated from high school a year ago ©otyrar.kz

Baurzhan Zholdybai graduated from high school a year ago ©otyrar.kz

According to the Defense Ministry’s press service, the soldiers’ families will receive 1.5 million tenge from the state budget in the form of financial compensation. During the funeral ceremony, the military orchestra played the funeral march, three volley shots were fired as a salute, guards of honor provided funeral honors for the fallen comrades with the national flags draping over the coffins. The soldiers who died during the exercise are Baurzhan Zholdabay, 19, Asylzhan Makhambetov, 19, Bagytzhan Kalybay, 19 and Zamir Adilov 23. They had only one month of military service left before demobilization.

Private Zamir Adilov ©vk.com

Private Zamir Adilov ©vk.com

By Indira Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

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