CEFCOM NR–08.022 - June 8, 2008 (DND)

OTTAWA – Yesterday, a Canadian soldier was killed at approximately 9:00 p.m., Kandahar time. The soldier was killed after falling into a well while conducting a security patrol in Zhari District.

The fallen soldier is Captain Jonathan (Jon) Sutherland Snyder of the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, based in Edmonton, Alberta.

Members of Captain Snyder’s patrol tried to extract him from the well, but were unsuccessful. Medical, engineering and search and rescue assets were rushed to the scene, and Capt Snyder was lifted out of the well. He was evacuated by helicopter to the Multi-National Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield, but sadly was pronounced dead upon arrival.

At 9 p.m. on Saturday night, Capt. Jonathan (Jon) Sutherland Snyder stepped into . . . nothingness. The platoon leader fell into a well 20 metres deep while leading a foot patrol in Zhari District, west of Kandahar. Despite frantic efforts to extract him as quickly as possible — search and rescue assets rushing to the scene from various points of departure — the captain did not survive the dreadful accident. He was pronounced dead upon arrival — by evacuating helicopter — at the multinational hospital at Kandahar Air Field: the 85th Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan.

A member of the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Snyder had been on his second deployment to the country. That battalion is extensively involved in the mentoring of Afghan national forces. Snyder was on a night foot patrol, likely leading his troops at the point as platoon commander, when the accident occurred, tumbling into a kariz, the deep wells connected by underground channels that carry water through Afghanistan's farming irrigation systems. "Medical, engineer and search and rescue assets were rushed to the scene and Jon was lifted out of the well."

"The rescue effort commenced immediately," Thompson emphasized. "We're thoroughly investigating all aspects of it. But I can tell you the response from both the quick response team, the platoon on the ground and the helicopter medivac were well within our expectations.

"It's just a tragic accident."

Snyder was recently engaged. He was raised in Penticton, B.C. but had been living in Edmonton.

This loss will be felt by all Canadians as Captain Snyder is sadly our 85th soldier to die in the Afghan mission that started in 2002