Thompsons Solicitors says more needs to be done to protect the safety of soldiers during military training
A soldier serving with the Royal Regiment of Scotland has died after being shot during a live firing exercise at the Otterburn military training area on Monday (22 August).
Private Conor McPherson, 24, suffered a “serious head wound” and was pronounced dead at the scene by the emergency services. A joint investigation between Northumbria Police and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is now underway to determine the circumstances surrounding his death.
The tragedy comes just weeks after the death of another soldier in south Wales.
Cpl Joshua Hoole, 26, who served in the Rifles regiment at ITC Catterick, died in the Brecon Beacons on July 19 during a pre-course training exercise for the Platoon Sergeants' Battle Course. An investigation into his death is ongoing.
According to a report by the House of Commons Defence Committee, between 1 January 2000 and 20 February 2016, 135 Armed Forces personnel died during training or exercise.
Thompsons Solicitors has, on multiple occasions, called for the MoD to review its protocols and procedures in light of the number of military fatalities as a result of training exercises, but the firm is now urging the government to act quickly to ensure British troops are protected and not at risk.
David Robinson, military claims specialist at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “The death of a soldier serving on tour is devastating to all who knew them and a tragedy, but to hear of it happening on home soil in a military training facility is unforgiveable.
“Although the circumstances around Private Conor McPherson’s death have not yet been confirmed, it’s undeniable that his life has been unjustly cut short. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.
“This is not the first time that Thompsons has called on the MoD and the government to review military training protocols, but the fatalities reported in this year alone suggest no action has been taken to introduce more protective measures.
“Soldiers often undertake difficult and dangerous exercises, but the number of tragic incidents happening before they reach combat speaks for itself. The MoD must remember it has a duty of care to ensure the safety of its military personnel, which should never be neglected.”
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