MADRID, SPAIN: An accidental explosion on Thursday killed five soldiers and injured three more in a military academy near Madrid, Spain's Defense Ministry informed.
The blast occurred at about 10:30 a.m. local time at the Engineer's military academy "Hoyo de Manzanares." The accident took place during a training exercise as a device exploded before the soldiers where at a safe distance.
The five fatal victims were part of a unit which was training to join a United Nations mission in Lebanon. Three of the deceased soldiers were from the Spanish infantry while the other two were form the Navy.
Two soldiers were severely injured and flown by helicopter to a Madrid hospital. The other was treated at a nearby hospital as he suffered slight wounds. The three men are Navy service members.
The morning exercise was aimed at detonating explosive devices at a safe distance. The service members were equipped with helmets and vests. Defense Minister Carme Chacon said the event was a tragic accident.
Chacon arrived to the academy to assess the situation along other high-ranking officials. An investigation was launched to determine the causes of the explosion and rule out any foul play.
The "Hoyo de Manzanares" military academy is located in the M-618 highway that connects Colmenar Viejo with Madrid. The academy has a shooting range, a training center for handling improvised explosive devices and another for mines.
(BNO NEWS )