South Korean officials have confirmed that two defense company employees died Tuesday after an amphibious assault vehicle prototype submerged during a test.
The accident with a secret amphibious vehicle occurred at around 3 p.m. near the headquarters of the 1st Marine Division in Pohang, 262 kilometers southeast of Seoul, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).
The two employees inside the landing assault armored vehicle were initially rescued after going missing earlier in the day but died after they were taken to a hospital, according to DAPA. They are said to have received cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the hospital but failed to regain consciousness.
DAPA said it is investigating the accident in cooperation with relevant authorities to determine the exact cause.
Some local media reported the armored vehicle is known to be a prototype of the KAAV-II (Korean Amphibious Assault Vehicle).
KAAV-II is a self-deploying, high water speed, armored amphibious vehicle capable of seamlessly transporting Marines from ships to inland objectives while providing the speed and maneuvering capabilities to operate with the fighting vehicles on land.
KAAV-II is developing to be the primary core means of tactical mobility for the Marines during the conduct of amphibious operations and subsequent ground combat operations ashore of the Korean Marine Corps.
The appearance of the new armored vehicle is kept secret and has not been publicly displayed before.