As investigations continue into the tragic deaths of two soldiers at a training camp in Powys, Wales, there may be the potential for the families of the soldiers to make a claim for compensation.
On Saturday two soldiers serving with the Territorial Army were killed on exercise in the Brecon Beacons region of Powys. A third soldier is currently in a serious condition in hospital, after all three collapsed on the hottest day of the year in the area.
It is believed the hot weather is linked to their deaths as the investigation now turns to focus on the searing conditions and the nature of the exercise. The temperature soared to around 30C (86F) on Saturday, as the troops participated in training exercises that may have included special forces training. As such, many of the troops will have operated alone, making it harder to spot signs of heat exhaustion, according to former infantry commander Col Richard Kemp.
In interview with the BBC, Col Kemp said: “When you begin to get engulfed by heat illness, your thought processes blur. The staff at the check points should be looking to see if anybody is having particular problems.”
However, Col Kemp also added that, whilst acknowledging the tragedy of the two soldiers’ deaths, “If we soften up too much we get far more casualties on actual war fighting operations.”
Temperatures in the UK’s main combat zones, Iraq and Afghanistan, have been known to rise to 45C and 33C respectively in the summer months, and so training in such conditions is necessary to acclimatise the soldiers to the middle-east environment. However, the MoD will be ensuring that every necessary precaution was taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its soldiers.
Matthew Dorrance, the Mayor of Brecon said: “It’s incredibly sad for the friends and family of the people who have lost their lives and thoughts are with the person who is injured. It is quite common to see troops training in the local area, and we are incredibly proud of our links with the military.”
If enough evidence is found to make a claim and the families choose to do so, it will spell further trouble for the MoD, who only recently lost a high-profile case at the Supreme Court meaning that families can now sue the MoD over soldiers killed in Iraq if there are grounds to do so. Along with post traumatic stress disorder claims, this ruling is expected to make negligent deaths one of the leading claims within the armed forces.
At Blackwater Law we specialise in helping members of the armed forces and their families achieve the justice they deserve in a variety of cases. Our highly trained, professional and friendly no win no fee solicitors, lead by our military expert Jason Brady, ensure that you and your family are there help when the protection afforded by the military fails. For more information please contact us today and we will be happy to help.