US Army Crash On Austria Motorway Puts 3 In Hospital

This footage shows a US Army lorry being removed by crane in Austria after a motorway smash with another vehicle put three soldiers in hospital.

The military vehicle was travelling as part of a NATO convoy into Hungary on its way to Romania to take part in military exercises.

Video Credit: CEN/BFK Moedling

But it ended up leaving the road after apparently hitting another lorry and overturning. The accident resulted in a complicated recovery operation for the heavy vehicle that needed a specialist crane which could handle the load.

The accident happened in the town of Giesshuebl, which is in the province of Lower Austria in Austria and quickly resulted in a huge tailback of traffic going several miles according to motorway officials at the local fire brigade.

It took 15 firemen to put the lorry back on the road. The soldiers were taken to the UKH University Hospital in Meidling before being taken to Vienna for further treatment.

The hospital declined to give any information as to their condition but it is not believed to be serious.

Military vehicles from the US and the UK as well as several neighbouring countries are currently travelling through Austria in order to take part in several exercises taking place in the Balkans region until the end of June.

Austria which is a neutral country was carefully supervising to make sure that the roads are not blocked, and that locals do not get concerned about the large number of army vehicles from foreign countries on local roads.

Austrian officials have warned locals not to be afraid as the hundreds of British tanks, military vehicles and troops flood the landlocked country next month.

In total, 243 British tanks and various other military vehicles together with 500 British soldiers have been given permission to enter the country, with the Austrian military that are organising the cross-country trip warning people that the heavy vehicles are likely to cause delays on Austrian roads.

An army spokesman said that the British troops will be heading to exercises taking place in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania as part of the multinational military exercise “Swift Response 19” which is organised by the US Army in Europe and designed to practice coordination between NATO allies.

The exercises will take place between the 11th and 24th June.

After taking part in “Swift Response 19”, the British troops will then also take part in “Saber Guardian 19”, an exercise co-led by the US forces and the Romanians which will include a medical exercise, river crossings and an air assault.

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Picture Credit: CEN/BFK Moedling

They will then take part in “Immediate Response 19”, which will be co-led by the Americans, the Croatians and the Slovenians, and which is geared towards ensuring the allies’ ability to quickly move soldiers and equipment from one location to another.

The army spokesman said: “In order to minimise traffic disruptions, the arrival of the British Army vehicles has been carefully coordinated. They will be arriving from Germany at the Suben crossing, and then will travel along the A9 in the direction of Slovenia.”

They said that the British are limited to 15 columns per day with no more than 20 vehicles per column, and a gap of one hour between each column with none of the vehicles allowed to make stops at service stations, and instead having to use designated military bases such as the Linz-Hoersching barracks which is on the route.

Austria is a neutral country and has been since 1955 as a condition of the Soviet Union to leave the country which at the time was occupied by a coalition that also included the US, the UK and France after the end of World War II. Since 1995, NATO and Austria have been actively cooperating in peace operations including in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Kosovo, and in Afghanistan.

However despite neutrality deeply ingrained in the country’s subconscious, army chiefs in the Alpine republic are keen to gain experience in military logistics by working with countries that wish to cross the country. In each case any costs to Austria as a result of assisting with the manoeuvre will be refunded by the home country of the army concerned – in this case the UK.

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Story By: Koen BerghuisSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Central European News