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New Zealand To Participate In Inquiry

New Zealand is to send an observer to the United States Accident Investigation Board which will inquire into today's fatal training accident in Kuwait, the Minister of Defence Mark Burton said.

"The Commander in Chief of the Florida-based Central Command, US General Tom Franks, and Vice Chief of US Navy Staff Admiral William Fallon, have contacted the Chief of the NZDF, Air Marshall Carey Adamson.

"Both senior United States officers have asked that their condolences be passed on to the family of Major John McNutt.

"The Accident Investigation Board will be convened on Thursday, headed by a US Marine General, with senior officers of the US Navy, Army and Air Force. At this stage it is not known how long the inquiry will last.

"It has been agreed that a New Zealand army colonel will attend the Investigation Board as an observer," Mark Burton said.

Ends

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