South West Wales

Castlemartin tank incident: One soldier dead, three injured

Tank at the Castlemartin Range Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Live firing was due to take place at the range from Monday to Friday

A soldier has been killed and three others injured after an incident involving a tank at a Ministry of Defence base in Pembrokeshire.

The Royal Tank Regiment soldier died on Thursday after being injured at Castlemartin Range on Wednesday.

BBC Wales understands that the incident involved ammunition.

Minister for People and Veterans, Tobias Ellwood, said the soldier died with his family "by his bedside".

BBC Wales understands the soldier died at Morriston Hospital.

Three seriously injured soldiers have been taken to hospitals in Swansea, Cardiff and Birmingham.

One injured soldier is in Morriston Hospital, Swansea, another at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, and the third was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, which has a dedicated wing for treating injured service personnel.

The MoD, Dyfed-Powys Police and the Health and Safety Executive are investigating the incident.

Image copyright Wales News Service

Mr Ellwood said: "It is with deep sadness that I can confirm the death of a soldier from the Royal Tank Regiment who died as a result of injuries sustained in an incident at Castlemartin Range.

"His next of kin were by his bedside and we will be respecting their privacy before further details are released.

"Three other soldiers have also been wounded and our thoughts remain with the friends and families of all those involved.

"The safety of our personnel is our absolute priority and a full investigation is under way to understand the details of this tragic incident."

On the camp flags have been lowered to half mast.

The MoD has suspended tank live firing as a precaution following the incident.

The Army's website said the regiment was "preparing for a live fire exercise at Castlemartin in Wales" which was scheduled to take place at the range between Monday and Friday.

The range, opened by the War Office in 1938, covers 5,900 acres on the south Pembrokeshire coast.

In May 2012, Ranger Michael Maguire died during a live firing exercise at the training base. An inquest later found he was unlawfully killed.

The 1st and 2nd Royal Tank Regiments merged in August 2014 to form The Royal Tank Regiment, which is based in Tidworth, Wiltshire.

Image copyright Wales News Service

More on this story