Alabama
3:18 pm
Wed July 7, 2004

Report Blames Officer For Soldier's Death

Daphne, AL – An Army report says a helicopter tire explosion that killed a Daphne soldier in Iraq was caused in part by an officer who told the troops not to follow training manual standards. 19-year-old Paul Bueche of the 131st Aviation Regiment of the Alabama Army National Guard died in October when a Blackhawk helicopter tire he was inflating exploded. Another soldier lost both arms. An investigation report says Bueche was refilling the tire in Camp Anaconda with the high-pressure end of a nitrogen cart. There wasn't a tire inflation kit on hand, and the officer in charge apparently told the soldiers to inflate the tire without one, violating procedure. Bueche's parents are Maria and Emory Paul Bueche. They received the military report Monday and say they hope publicizing it will save other lives. A National Guard spokesman declined to comment on the report.