Pressure mounts on MoD after third training death in less than four months04 November 2016
Fatal shooting of a serviceman during a training exercise at an RAF firing range calls the Ministry’s ‘duty of care’ into question
The Ministry of Defence was grappling with the death of yet another British serviceman on UK soil this week, following an incident at an RAF firing range in Tain, near Inverness.
Investigators from Police Scotland confirmed that the incident happened during a training exercise on Tuesday (1 November) and had involved a firearm. A senior officer offered sympathies to the family of the serviceman and explained that investigations around the incident are still ongoing.
Back in August, Pte Conor McPherson, 24, a soldier serving with the Royal Regiment of Scotland died from a head wound received during a live training exercise in Otterburn, Northumbria. The tragedy happened just weeks after Cpl Joshua Hoole, 26, from the Rifles regiment, died during a pre-course training exercise in the Brecon Beacons.
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.
David Robinson, senior military injury solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Like any employer, the MoD is legally required to protect its employee's health and safety. Sadly, all the evidence we see suggests systematic failings.
“Despite military employees dealing with live ammunition and being exposed to extraordinary circumstances, which should enhance protective measures, the MoD behaves like it is running a series of corner shops. How many avoidable deaths and injuries is it going to take until that changes?”
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