Army captain who ordered Cordoba soldiers to go into a near-frozen pool of mud is suspended after two died

THE CAPTAIN of a Cordoba-based army unit that saw two men die during an exercise on Thursday has been relieved of his command while a judge investigates the circumstances that led to the tragedy.

The captain is from the La Reina Regiment, part of the Guzman el Bueno X Brigade based at Cerro Muriano and was in charge of around 60 soldiers.

No further details have been given but sources told the El Mundo newspaper that he had not been arrested and that removing him from his position would only have been taken if there were indications that something had not been carried out correctly.


Autopsies carried out on the bodies of the two soldiers confirmed drowning as the cause of death after the captain ordered an early morning exercise to be carried out in a reservoir which forms part of army land.

Temperatures were around four degrees and several soldiers carrying equipment went into the ice-cold water which was full of mud.

Two of them went missing at around 6.00am and four others had to be treated for hypothermia in hospital.

Guardia Civil divers and fire crews were amongst the emergency services called to search for the men.

Divers firstly recovered the body of Corporal Miguel Angel Jimenez Andujar, 34, who was married and came from Villafranca de Cordoba.

He participated in missions in Latvia and Lebanon and had been awarded two military merit crosses.

He enlisted in 2011 and was assigned to the Infantry Regiment ‘La Reina’ 2, where he remained after being promoted to corporal in 2019.

The other deceased soldier was Carlos Leon Rico, 24, who was single and from Viso del Alcor in Sevilla province, who only joined the army on May 8.

The Government delegate in Andalusia, Pedro Fernandez, passed on his condolences on Friday to the men’s families and colleagues ‘on behalf of the Government of Spain’.

“It was an unfortunate event that is being investigated and the Guardia Civil are conducted interviews”, he added.

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