Gurkha soldier dies during gruelling SAS selection tests in Brunei… with extreme heat suspected of playing a part in the tragedy
- Gurkha Corporal Navin Thapa Magar was trying to join the Special Air Service
- Extreme heat from the intensive SAS tests in Brunei is a factor in his death
- At least 21 troops have died on these SAS selection process tests since 1984
- The Ministry of Defence has refused to disclose any further details
Defence chiefs are investigating the death of a Gurkha soldier who was trying to join the Special Air Service.
Corporal Navin Thapa Magar was undergoing exhaustive tests in Brunei used to select troops for Special Forces units.
Extreme heat is understood to have been a factor in his death, which is being investigated by military police. However, defence sources suggested it was not the only factor.
No other soldiers are thought to have been involved in the incident last month.
The Ministry of Defence has refused to disclose any further details.
Cpl Navin is understood to be the first soldier killed during the SAS selection process since 2013, when three reservists died on a march in the Brecon Beacons. At least 21 troops have died on these tests since 1984.
Corporal Navin Thapa Magar was a soldier with the Gurkhas (above). File photo
Cpl Navin, from Tanahun, western Nepal, joined the Army in 2013, completing his basic training at Catterick, North Yorkshire, the following year.
He served on operations in the Balkans with the Royal Gurkha Rifles and on numerous overseas training exercises.
Armed forces minister James Heappey said: ‘It is clear from his colleagues Cpl Navin was a dedicated, professional soldier who was held in the highest regard.
‘He was a shining example of what Britain’s armed forces stand for. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones at this terrible time.’
Cpl Navin is understood to be the first soldier killed during the SAS selection process since 2013, when three reservists died on a march in the Brecon Beacons (file photo)
Cpl Navin had successfully passed the first phase of SAS selection, which takes place in the Brecon Beacons and is known as ‘the hills’.
Candidates must complete test marches of up to 40 miles carrying packs weighing 70lb (32kg).
Only if they complete these marches within a certain number of hours can they proceed to the jungle phase of the course, known as ‘the trees’.
This takes place in Brunei twice a year. Due to the extreme heat and humidity of the jungle environment many candidates collapse from exhaustion.
On average, nine out of ten fail the course. An Army spokesman said: ‘It is with great sadness the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Corporal Navin Magar.
He died during a non-operational training incident on August 11. ‘Cpl Navin was a sociable, energetic and trusted friend.
His abilities and his constant pursuit of excellence propelled him toward even greater challenges.
‘His loss is felt deeply among all those who knew him. He leaves behind his mother and father and his elder brother and sister.’
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