An IDF Merkava tank overturned on Sunday, while being loaded onto a carrier truck during an IDF training exercise in the Jordan Valley. The tank’s driver was slightly injured in the incident.
Preliminary investigation of the incident revealed that while loading the tank on the carrier, the driver was at an angle in which he could not see the soldier that was directing him onto the truck, after which the driver sped the tank at a wrong angle up the carrier until it overturned.
The 24-year-old driver was rescued and taken to the Brigade field hospital for initial treatment, before being evacuated to Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus, where he was diagnosed with mild bruises.
According to the driver, the tank’s gas pedal got caught while boarding the carrier, which caused the tank to speed up and the driver to lose control while already on the carrier.
In the video of the incident, which was captured by one of the soldiers present at the drill - fuel fumes can be seen after the tank overturned, which is an indication that the tank’s gas pedal indeed got stuck during the attempted maneuver.
According to procedure, loading a tank on a carrier is done by an experienced Armored Corps officer only and requires special certification due to the technical expertise needed to control such a heavy vehicle and its weapons systems safely and effectively.
The IDF stated that "the circumstances of the incident are being investigated. The division commander instructed to stop the mobilization of all the division’s armored combat vehicles until the results of the initial investigation. "