Probe into female army officer’s freak death

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The National Guard has called for the police to assist in their investigation of the fatal accident that killed a young female corporal at a military camp in Kornos, Larnaca.

Corporal Natalie Neophytou, 27, was killed after an army jeep she had been a passenger overturned and landed on her.

A cadet and a conscript were with her in the jeep; they survived the accident with minor injuries.

It is believed the 27-year-old was sitting in the vehicle’s back seat and was thrown from the jeep when it crushed her.

In comments to Alpha TV on Friday, National Guard spokesman Christos Pieris confirmed the army has appointed a special investigating officer and launched an internal investigation to understand better what happened.

He also confirmed that the military had requested assistance from the police, which has more experience in such cases.

“Nothing out of the ordinary was noticed with the vehicle, but clearly something must have happened; we are looking to find the reason behind the tragic accident,” said Pieris.

Pieris said the incident happened after a training exercise on a dirt road at the camp when the jeep was being taken to be refuelled.

Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides will ask the Cabinet for the funeral of the corporal to be paid for by the state.

He also said Petrides and the Commander of the National Guard Demokritos Zervakis visited the army camp in Kornos on Friday.

Neophytou, originally from Paphos, had joined the army less than six months ago on a contract.

She was rushed to Nicosia General after the accident, where doctors could not save her life.

Reportedly Neophytou was transferred to the intensive care unit but stopped breathing as she was being taken to the operating theatre.

President Nicos Anastasiades tweeted that he was “saddened by the tragic accident” and Neophytou’s death while on duty.

The president promised, “the state will stand by her family.”