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Two tanks collide during military training exercise in Finland

One Finnish Defence Forces crew member was hospitalised while others received minor injuries.

Parolannummella Panssariprikaatin taistelunäytös
File photo of a Finnish Defence Forces' tank. The vehicle in the photo was not involved in the collision. Image: Ville Välimäki / Yle

Two tanks collided during a ground forces' training exercise in Pohjankangas near Niinisalo in the southwest of the country on Friday, injuring several people, the Finnish Defence Forces has announced in a statement.

The accident occurred when a BMP-2M infantry fighting vehicle collided with a BMP-1TJJ artillery observation vehicle as the two tanks moved on parallel lines in the same direction.

The crews of both vehicles received minor bruises and one crew member was referred to hospital for further examination on the recommendation of medical staff.

"Collisions between tanks are really rare," Lieutenant Colonel Riku Rantakari from the Armoured Brigade told Yle.

"At the time of the accident, there were a total of about 15 people in the vehicles. One of them was taken to hospital because the possibility of fractures was ruled out," Rantakari said.

The two tanks suffered minor damage in the collision but are still operational.

Rantakari said that the cause of the collision was under investigation.

"The training area was very dry and it is possible that visibility quickly deteriorated to zero due to sand dust in the air," he said, adding that a briefing was held for those involved in the collision as soon as the training exercise concluded.

"This is also a matter of occupational and service safety, so we will go through what happened and how to act so that this does not happen again," he said.

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