IDF soldier Naama Yahel, 20, sustained serious injuries Wednesday during a training accident in an IDF base in central Israel. Her condition is stable.
According to available details, she suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the chest, abdomen and legs during a practice at a firing range.
Yahel, a resident of Omer, was rushed to Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera and underwent emergency surgery to stabilize her condition.
Deputy administrator of Hillel Yaffe Hospital told Ynet that "The soldier was admitted at 3 pm and was taken directly to the trauma room for assessment.
"She suffered serious gunshot wounds and was rushed to surgery, where doctors performed an abdominal procedure as well as several orthopedic ones. She's stabilized and will later be admitted to the ICU."
IDF range (Archives: AP)
The initial inquiry derived that cadets with the Military Police, who enlisted less than one month ago, were at the firing range as part of their routing basic training.
One of cadets placed her M-16 rifle on its automatic setting, instead of on its semi-automatic one, which is against regulation, and fired.
Surprised by the rifle's blowback, the soldier was unable to control it as it spun out of control. Yahel, who was standing in a shed several yards away, was injured.
She initially suffered moderate injuries, but her situation deteriorated en route to the hospital.
The soldier that accidently fired her weapon suffered shock and is currently under the care of a military psychiatrist.
Military Police investigators deposed all the soldiers who were at the range at the time of the accident.
The inquiry is currently focused on whether the cadet were fully aware of the safety protocols in the firing range. The probe also seeks to ascertain why the soldier released the safety catch on her rifle and switched it to automatic mode against orders.
In recent years the army has been battling the prevalence of misfire accidents, most of which occur while soldiers load or unload their weapons or during dangerous gun play. Some 40 such incidents occurred in the first half of 2012, including 12 by personal weapons and 28 by machine guns, according to GOC Army headquarters data.
The incidence of such mishaps has indeed gone down, dropping from 70 in 2008 to 25 in 2011. The improvement was credited in part to the installation of a plastic device on the firearms' chamber, thus allowing troops to carry their weapons with the cartridge in place during operational activity instead of loading and unloading it when necessary.
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