4 Canadian military cadets die after car crashes into river

Four Canadian military cadets who were weeks away from graduating died early Friday morning after their car crashed into the St. Lawrence in Kingston, Ontario, officials said.

Fourth-year cadets at the Royal Military College drove a dark green car around 2 a.m. into the river that surrounds the Point Frederick peninsula, the National Defense of Canada said in a statement.

CBC News captured footage of the vehicle being pulled out of the water on Friday, with the doors open and the windshield damaged.

The National Defense of Canada identified those in the car as: Jack Hogarth, Andrei Honciu, Broden Murphy and Andrés Salek.

The men, whose ages have not been released, were due to graduate and be commissioned as officers in the Canadian armed forces in a few weeks, Commodore Josée Kurtz, the college’s commander, said at a Friday night news conference.

Commodore Kurtz said the Canadian Forces National Investigative Service would investigate “what the vehicle was doing and what caused the incident”.

She did not release other details on Friday and did not respond to a call asking for comment on Saturday. The Royal Military College also did not immediately respond to emails asking for comment.

“These young people, our staff and faculty, pretty much all know each other,” Commodore Kurtz said, adding that the college has about 1,200 students. “I live here. I see these young people every day. And so four at a time, under such circumstances, it’s hard.”

Commodore Kurtz said Hogarth and Salek were completing their bachelor’s degrees in military and strategic studies and planned to be armored officers in the army.

Mr. Honciu and Mr. Murphy were completing a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Mr. Honciu planned to be a logistics officer, and Mr. Murphy an aerospace environment controller in the Royal Canadian Air Force, she said.

“As parents, we can only imagine their pain,” Commodore Kurtz said.

Politicians across the country expressed condolences to the cadets’ families.

Bryan Paterson, the mayor of Kingston, said in twitter that he was “absolutely heartbroken”, and Defense Minister Anita Anand said in a statement that she offered her “deepest condolences to their families, classmates and loved ones for suffering such a profound loss, that is felt throughout our Canadian army. Forces and Country.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in twitter on Friday that “the tragic passing of these young Canadians is a devastating loss”.

“To everyone who knew them: we’re here for you,” he said.

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