Soldier sues MoD over training range explosion injuries
A soldier who lost a limb when a bomb exploded on a training range in Afghanistan is planning to sue the MoD for compensation.
Guardsman Jack Davies, 22, of Loughborough, suffered spinal injuries and had his left leg amputated after the blast, which killed a comrade.
L/Cpl James Hill, 23, of Surrey, died four days after arriving at Camp Bastion, in Helmand, in 2009.
The MoD said ranges were now located within Camp Bastion's perimeter.
At the inquest into the death of L/Cpl Hill, the coroner said warnings about the potential for IED (improvised explosive device) attacks, due to locals having access to the range, had gone unheeded by commanders.
The soldier was unlawfully killed while on active service, the coroner ruled.'Blinding flash'
Guardsman Davies, who was serving with the Coldstream Guards, said he had attended a safety briefing when he arrived at the range.
End Quote Jack Davies Coldstream Guards
Every soldier accepts that our job is dangerous but the fact Jimmy's death could have been prevented makes me really angry”
"We had been there for about 10 or 15 minutes maybe, then there was a blinding flash and an explosion," he said.
"I can't remember coming round until I was back in hospital in the UK.
"Every soldier accepts that our job is dangerous but the fact Jimmy's death could have been prevented makes me really angry.
"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."
The guardsman added that training ranges should "definitely be brought 'inside the wire,' or closer to base where only military personnel can access them."
Guardsman Davies is expected to be medically discharged from the Armed Forces in early 2013.
Andrew Buckham, of Irwin Mitchell solicitors, said: "We will continue to support Jack in his own bid for justice so that a settlement can be agreed to ensure he can pay for the future care and rehabilitation he deserves and needs."
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."
He added that since 2010, ranges had been located within the expanded perimeter of Camp Bastion and stringent checks were conducted regularly.