21st June 2024
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Spain investigates the drowning of two soldiers during training in Andalusia

A military court in Spain is currently investigating the drowning of two soldiers who were instructed to cross a lake while carrying a substantial load, an attorney representing the family of one of the victims said on Wednesday.

The Spanish military had announced on 21 December that two soldiers had lost their lives ‘during manoeuvres’ at the Cerro Muriano base near the city of Córdoba (Andalusia), providing no further information on the circumstances.

However, Spanish media reports suggested that the individuals, aged 24 and 34, drowned after being instructed to cross a lake in extremely cold conditions while carrying their equipment.

Carlos Leon Rico, one of the soldiers who drowned, had reportedly been assigned an additional 3.5 kg by his superiors as a punishment, bringing his total load to 12 kg, according to the family’s attorney, Luis Romero.

It remains unclear whether the second soldier carried extra weight.

According to reports, the exercise site lacked rescue rafts or a lifeline, which should have been present, according to Romero. Instead, there was only a loose rope to guide the soldiers.

The Córdoba court investigating the deaths transferred the case to a military court in Seville at the request of military officials. Leon Rico’s family has contested this decision, expressing concerns that a military court might impede the investigation.

Defense Minister Margarita Robles said that the army is fully committed to collaborating with the investigation, stating earlier this month that ‘if mistakes were made, they have to be known’.

File image (Spanish Army archive)

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