Soldier from Royal Regiment of Scotland dies in exercise

A soldier serving with the Royal Regiment of Scotland has died while taking part in an exercise at a military training area.

Tuesday, 23rd August 2016, 9:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:12 pm
The solider died at the Otterburn Training Area in Northumberland (pictured). Photo: MoD

Police said the male soldier sustained a “serious head wound” and was pronounced dead at the scene.

He was taking part in a night live-firing exercise in Otterburn in Northumberland just after 11pm on Monday night, Armed Forces Minister Mike Penning said.

The soldier has not yet been identified by the Ministry of Defence and there have been no arrests over the incident.

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Mr Penning said: “My thoughts are with the soldier’s family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.

“The safety of our personnel is our absolute priority and, while deaths in training don’t happen often, any death is a tragedy. As well as a police investigation, MoD accident investigators are looking into the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.”

An MoD spokesman said the Defence Safety Authority is investigating, but added that there were no details on whether any other personnel were involved.

The accident happened on a firing range at the training area during the night exercise. A police spokesman said: “Police received a report a soldier had been shot on the military ranges in Otterburn during a live-firing exercise.

“Emergency services attended and found the male soldier had received a serious head wound. Sadly he was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.”

He said police will work with the Ministry of Defence to establish the exact circumstances of the incident. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This is a tragic incident and my deepest condolences go to the family, friends and colleagues of the soldier who has died. Our armed forces do a difficult and dangerous job at all times, and this is another stark reminder of that. My thoughts are with all who loved this brave soldier.”

The death comes little more than a month after another soldier died while on a training exercise in Brecon, Wales, on the hottest day of the year.

Joshua Hoole, from Ecclefechan near Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, died on 19 July while on training for the Platoon Sergeants’ Battle Course, taken by infantry soldiers who want to progress to the rank of sergeant.

The 26-year-old, who was based at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire and was a member of The Rifles regiment, collapsed after taking part in a fitness test near the Dering Lines infantry training centre at about 6.30am, when temperatures later peaked at just above 30C.

Cpl Hoole’s death came just three months after the Defence Select Committee published a report calling for the MoD to become liable for prosecution for the deaths of armed forces personnel.