Soldier sues over training range IED
02 August 2012
The survivor of an IED attack on a military training range in Afghanistan is suing the MoD for compensation claiming that the explosion which injured him was avoidable.
Guardsman Jack Davies, 22, of 1st Battalion the Coldstream Guards, was attending a safety briefing on a range some 2.5 miles outside Camp Bastion, the main British base in Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated nearby.
He was left with spinal injuries and had his left leg amputated after the blast.
Lance Corporal James Hill, 23, was killed by the same explosion, and at an inquest this week a coroner said that the level of risk on the range had not been reduced to the "safest possible level". Warnings from non-commissioned officers about locals' access to the range, where they would collect shell casings to sell for scrap each night once training ended, had not been heeded by their seniors.
Lance Corporal Hill's family said his death had been "needless and entirely preventable".
Guardsman Davies, who is to be medically discharged from the army in early 2013, said that he accepted that the job is dangerous but that his injuries and Hill's death had been preventable.
"I hope the MoD has listened to what I, the coroner and lawyers have said and that training grounds are made as safe as they can be in future," he told the BBC.
He added that ranges should "definitely be brought 'inside the wire,' or closer to base where only military personnel can access them" in future.
An MoD spokesman said: "Searches of the training range were carried out using Vallon detectors and no IEDs were found.
"However, an investigation into the incident showed that more thorough procedures to reduce the risk of IEDs being planted should have been carried out."
Ranges are now located within the perimeter of Camp Bastion.