Probe into bomb blast which killed Lothians troops

William Savage, Samuel Flint, and Robert Hetherington

William Savage, Samuel Flint, and Robert Hetherington

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A bomb blast which killed three Lothians soldiers in Afghanistan is to be examined, as a coroner will focus on whether their vehicle had enough protection against the device.

Corporal William Savage, 30, from Penicuik, Midlothian; Fusilier Samuel Flint, 21, from Edinburgh; and Private Robert Hetherington, 25 , from Edinburgh, died of blast injuries caused by an explosion on April 30 last year.

A coroner has said he will examine the protection given by a Mastiff military vehicle blown up by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan.

Three soldiers were killed in the blast on Route 611 in the Nahr-e-Saraj district.

Darren Salter, senior coroner for Oxfordshire, said at the start of their inquest that he would consider issues such as the protection afforded by the Mastiff if subject to such an attack, whether there were any defects in the vehicle, whether it was possible to detect the devices beforehand, and what intelligence was available to the patrol.

Post-mortem examinations concluded that the three, who were with B Company, 2nd Battalion, Scottish Regiment, would have been deeply unconscious virtually instantly and unaware of what had happened.

Mr Salter said the Mastiff is designed to resist IED attacks.

There had been earlier damage to this one, the second of three evolutions of the vehicle, in a strike in 2009.

The Royal Military Police made inquiries to the Afghan National Police about this incident, but no one was arrested over it.