French soldier killed in Chad maintenance operation
French soldier Andy Fila was killed in a maintenance operation in Chad after a piece of equipment exploded, the defense ministry said in a statement on Friday. Fila was a 25-year-old father of one child.
"While carrying out an intervention on a refrigeration unit at the Kossei base in N'Djamena, Chad, brigadier chief Andy Fila was fatally hit by the explosion of a gas cylinder," the ministry said in a statement.
An investigation is underway to determine the exact cause of the accident.
Twenty-five year old Fila belonged to the 14th infantry regiment of Toulouse.
He had taken part in several external operations in the Sahel region in 2016, and more recently again in June, this time in Chad.
In a press release, Florence Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces, expressed her condolences to Fila's family and his companions.
Un accident survenu lors de travaux sur la base de N’Djamena a provoqué la mort du brigadier-chef Andy Fila, militaire de l'opération Barkhane. Mes pensées vont à sa famille et ses frères d'armes. Je souhaite un prompt rétablissement au militaire également blessé lors de ce drame https://t.co/6UKWQMhVB9— Florence Parly (@florence_parly) July 31, 2020
She wished a "swift recovery" to another soldier who was also injured during the accident.
Lawmakers at the French parliament also paid tribute to the electro-mechanic specialist by observing a minute's silence to him on the sidelines of tense debate over a new bioethics bill.
France has more than 5,000 troops in the West African Sahel region as part of international efforts to fight Islamist militants in the area and has based its counterterrorism forces in Chad.
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe