Wednesday, June 10, 2009 11:17 AM

Canadian soldier dies in accident in Afghanistan

Updated Wed. Apr. 18 2007 9:17 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

A Canadian special forces soldier has died in what military officials are calling an unfortunate and tragic accident.

The soldier fell from a communication tower somewhere within Kandahar City on Wednesday, Col. Mike Cessford, deputy Canadian commander in Afghanistan, told reporters in Kandahar early Thursday.

"I believe this was a routine activity. It was not operationally related," he said. "By all indications, this was a tragic accident."

An accidental death doesn't make it any easier to take, he said.

"A loss is a loss of a soldier. This soldier is going home to his family. It is a tragedy. We care for every soldier, no matter the circumstances of their deaths," he said.

While the next of kin have been informed, they have requested that his name not be released, Cessford said.

This latest fatality would bring the total number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2002 to 54 plus one diplomat.

Cessford said he believes this is the first special forces soldier to die in Afghanistan.

It also marks the 54th Canadian soldier to have died in Afghanistan. Most have died either in suicide or bomb attacks by insurgents or in combat.

News Release

Two Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan

CEFCOM NR–07.007 - April 11, 2007

OTTAWA – Two Canadian soldiers were killed and two others were injured, one seriously, when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle earlier today. The incident occurred shortly before 8 p.m. Kandahar time, approximately 38 km west of Kandahar City. These soldiers had been assisting another vehicle that had been struck by a roadside bomb earlier in the day, one soldier suffered only minor injuries in this earlier attack.

The three injured soldiers were immediately evacuated to the multinational medical facility at Kandahar Airfield for treatment and are assessed as stable.

The names of the casualties are being withheld pending next of kin notification.

Today is another sad day for the Canadian Forces and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of these fine soldiers. The incidents of the last few days, while challenging for Joint Task Force Afghanistan, have galvanized our determination to support and help the long-suffering people of Afghanistan.

 

News Release

Names of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan released

CEFCOM NR–07.009 - April 11, 2007

OTTAWA – The names of the two Canadian soldiers killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on April 11, 2007 are as follows:

Master Corporal Allan Stewart, The Royal Canadian Dragoons, based in Petawawa, Ont.; and

Trooper Patrick James Pentland, The Royal Canadian Dragoons, based in Petawawa, Ont.

These two soldiers were killed and two others were injured, one seriously, when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle earlier today. The incident occurred shortly before 8 p.m. Kandahar time, approximately 38 km west of Kandahar City. The soldiers had been assisting another vehicle that had been struck by a roadside bomb earlier in the day, one soldier suffered only minor injuries in this earlier attack.


 

News Release -DND

Six Canadian soldiers killed, two injured in Afghanistan

CEFCOM NR–07.006 - April 8, 2007

OTTAWA – Six Canadian soldiers were killed and two of their comrades were injured today in Afghanistan after a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle. The incident occurred at approximately 13:30 hrs Kandahar time, west of Kandahar City. Four soldiers were evacuated by helicopter to the Canadian-led multinational hospital at Kandahar Airfield for further medical assessment. One soldier suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries from the blast and will likely be transferred to the U.S. military facility at Landstuhl, Germany. Another soldier who only received minor injuries was released from the hospital along with the other two who had not suffered any physical injuries.

The names of the casualties are being withheld pending the notification of families.

Though very saddened by the news several of their comrades have fallen in the line of duty, Canadian troops in Afghanistan remain staunchly committed to the critical mission of helping the Afghan people achieve peace and stability and rebuild their country and institutions.

More News


Col. Mike Cessford, deputy commander of Task Force Afghanistan, announced in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Sunday, that six Canadian soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb explosion and two soldiers were wounded, one seriously. (CP/John Cotter)

 

 

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (CP) - A devastating roadside-bomb explosion killed six Canadian soldiers Sunday in the worst single-day toll for the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan, military officials said.

The explosion west of Kandahar city also caused serious but non-life-threatening injuries to one Canadian soldier and light injuries to another, said Col. Mike Cessford, deputy commander of the Canadian contingent in Kandahar.

Two other soldiers were examined in hospital and released, he told reporters at Kandahar Airfield.

The soldiers were in a moving vehicle when the blast occurred around 1 p.m., Cessford said.

"You can appreciate, clearly we are saddened by the loss of six our best soldiers ... but we stay committed to the mission," he said.

"This is what we do. We are focused on rebuilding Afghanistan, on doing the right things for those kids who wave at us every day as we drive down the roads here."

In Ottawa, Navy Lt. Morgan Bailey, a spokeswoman for the Defence Department, said officials were in the process of contacting next of kin. Names of the deceased and other details were being withheld pending completion of that process.

Bailey said this is the worst one-day death toll since Canada's mission in Afghanistan began. Sunday's toll brings the total number of Canadian killed since 2002 to 51.

Canada has about 2,500 soldiers serving with NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

Speaking in France to mark the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said it has been a "difficult day in Afghanistan."

He broke the news of the six deaths at a dinner for veterans and said "our hearts ache for them and their families."

News Release - DND update

Names of five Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan released

CEFCOM NR–07.007 - April 8, 2007

OTTAWA – The names of five of the six Canadian soldiers killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on April 8, 2007 are as follows:

Sergeant Donald Lucas, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, based in Gagetown, N.B.;

Corporal Christopher Paul Stannix, a Reservist from the Princess Louise Fusiliers, based in Halifax, N.S.;

Corporal Aaron E. Williams, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment;

Private Kevin Vincent Kennedy, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment; and

Private David Robert Greenslade, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment.

At the request of the family, the name of the sixth soldier killed is being withheld temporarily.

The soldiers were killed when an improvised explosive device detonated near their LAV-III armoured vehicle. The incident occurred at approximately 13:30 hrs Kandahar time on April 8, approximately 75 km west of Kandahar City, near the border between Helmand and Kandahar provinces.

The incident occurred as Canadian soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group were conducting convoy security operations as part of Operation ACHILLES, a major International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operation underway in the south of Afghanistan. Launched in early March in the Sangin region, Operation ACHILLES is a combined effort between the Afghan national security forces and NATO’s ISAF aimed at creating the security conditions required for reconstruction efforts to progress at a faster pace in Helmand province. Canadian troops from Joint Task Force Afghanistan have played an important supporting role in Operation ACHILLES preventing Taliban insurgents from reinforcing or fleeing the area of Sangin valley.

In the incident, a Canadian soldier suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries from the blast and plans are currently being made to transfer him to the U.S. military medical facility at Landstuhl, Germany. Three other soldiers, one of whom was lightly injured and two who had not suffered any physical injuries from the incident were released from the hospital at Kandahar Airfield on April 8.

4 are from Gagetown, N.B., and 1 from Halifax, Canadian Forces says

Last Updated: Sunday, April 8, 2007 | 9:40 PM ET

injured Sunday when their armoured vehicle struck a roadside bomb west of Kandahar City, resulting in the worst single-day loss of life for Canadian Forces in Afghanistan, military officials said.

The LAV III hit an "improvised explosive device" around 1:30 p.m. local time, Col. Mike Cessford, deputy commander of Task Force Afghanistan, told reporters at the airbase in southern Kandahar province. Ten soldiers in total were in the vehicle.

The military later released the names of five of the dead soldiers. Four were with Gagetown, N.B.-based 2nd Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment: Sgt. Donald Lucas, 31, Cpl. Aaron E. Williams, 23, and Privates Kevin Vincent Kennedy,20, and David Robert Greenslade, 20. 

The latest Canadian casualties in Afghanistan include Pte. David Robert Greenslade, top left, Pte. Kevin Vincent Kennedy, top right, Sgt. Donald Lucas, bottom left, and Cpl. Aaron E. Williams, bottom right.
The latest Canadian casualties in Afghanistan include Pte. David Robert Greenslade, top left, Pte. Kevin Vincent Kennedy, top right, Sgt. Donald Lucas, bottom left, and Cpl. Aaron E. Williams, bottom right.

Cpl. Brent Poland, left, and Cpl. Christopher P. Stannix, right.
Cpl. Brent Poland, left, and Cpl. Christopher P. Stannix, right.

(DND)

 

Earlier, Prime Minister Stephen Harper confirmed the deaths while speaking to a shocked crowd of dignitaries and veterans in Lille, France, where he was attending a dinner to mark the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

 

Military officials have identified the six dead as:

Sgt. Donald Lucas, 31, of Burton, N.B. (but raised in St. John's). 

Cpl. Aaron E. Williams, 23, of Lincoln, N.B.

Pte. Kevin Vincent Kennedy, 20, of St. Lawrence, N.L.

Pte. David Robert Greenslade, 20, of Saint John, N.B.

Cpl. Christopher Paul Stannix, 24, of Dartmouth, N.S.

Cpl. Brent Poland, 37, of Camlachie, Ont.

Statement

Statement by the Minister of National Defence on the deaths of Six Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan

NR-07.020 - April 9, 2007

OTTAWA – The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today on the deaths of six Canadian soldiers:

“It is with the utmost sorrow that I extend my condolences, and those of all Canadians, to the families and friends of Sergeant Donald Lucas, Corporal Brent D. Poland, Corporal Christopher Paul Stannix, Corporal Aaron E. Williams, Private David Robert Greenslade, and Private Kevin Vincent Kennedy.

Those who fell will be deeply missed by the Canadian Forces family.  The dedication and bravery of these soldiers will be forever remembered.  I also extend my wishes for a speedy recovery to those injured in the attack.

Our troops have a clear mission - to build security and stability in Afghanistan. And it is because our soldiers are succeeding in this mission that they came under attack.

It is in Canada’s national interest that the people of Afghanistan regain control of their own destiny - to ensure their country never again becomes a launching pad for global terrorism. There can be no doubt that the desperate terrorists who carried out yesterday’s attack want to return a murderous regime to power.

On both sides of the Atlantic yesterday, Canadians paid their respects for the soldiers who fought in the Great War.  These six soldiers who gave their lives carry on the valiant tradition of putting country before self.” 

 

 

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