Pair of soldiers killed in combat exercise

Friday, November 15, 2002

FORT POLK, La. -- Two soldiers involved in an urban assault drill were killed Thursday when they were run over by a 63-ton tank.

The accident came a day after an Air Force Reserve F-16 crashed in Utah, killing the pilot. That crash was the second fatal accident involving F-16s in Utah in less than three weeks.

The soldiers were with the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky., which was recently stationed in Afghanistan, said Fort Polk spokesman Ron Elliott.

Elliott said he didn't know if the soldiers had seen overseas service.

The accident occurred about 5:20 a.m. and both soldiers were flown by helicopter to the Fort Polk hospital where they were pronounced dead, Elliott said.

About 400 soldiers were participating in the pre-dawn drill at the Army's Joint Readiness Training Center. The victims were run over by an M-1 Abrams tank, Elliott said. They were not part of the tank's crew.

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