A handout photo made available by the Taiwan Air Force (ROCAF) shows a Taiwan made Indigenous Defense Fighter Jet (IDF) having a mid-air engine failure during a rehearsal ahead of Air Force day inside an airbase in Taichung, Taiwan, 10 August 2023. EFE-EPA/FILE/TAIWAN AIR FORCE / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES -- MANDATORY CREDIT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

Apology after Taiwan air force bomb drops near coast guard vessel

Beijing, Aug 15 (EFE).- The Taiwanese Air Force on Tuesday apologized for inadvertently dropping a bomb near a coast guard vessel during a training session last week.

People look at Taiwan's Air force Mirage 2000 fighter jet during an open house event inside Taiwanese Air Base in Taichung, Taiwan, 12 August 2023. EFE-EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO

The incident occurred on Aug.9 when a two-seat model F-16V missed its set target and dropped a 2,000-pound MK-84 bomb in waters off Pingtung’s Jioupeng military base, Air Force chief General Tsao Chin-ping said.

The bomb sent off a shockwave that affected a manned coast guard vessel even as the ship was several nautical miles from the blast site, according to the official Focus Taiwan news agency.

The bomb caused no casualties, but several coast guard members complained on social networks that they had to receive medical attention due to the impact of the blast.

Tsao said the air force had apologized to the coast guard and would act against the pilot and his instructor for failing to supervise the bomb drop drill properly.

In another incident on Tuesday at the Jioupeng base, a US-made MIM-104F Patriot missile exploded prematurely during a war drill, said the air force chief.

He said the incident was being investigated.

The local media said it was the first time a US-bought Patriot missile exploded before reaching its target during a firing exercise.

Such accidents have been frequent during military exercises by the island’s defense forces.

Last October, four Taiwanese Army servicemen were injured after accidentally firing a portable anti-tank weapon during live-fire tests.

In June last year, a Taiwanese military multiple-launch rocket system exploded during a live-fire combat drill in the southeast of the island.

Since 2020, there have been seven accidents involving planes and helicopters from the island’s air force, causing the deaths of 13 soldiers, the latest on May 31. EFE