Monday, June 16, 2008

Nimrod families want safety talks

The BBC reports that the families of 14 Servicemen killed in and RAF Nimrod crash in Afghanistan in 2006 want to have safety talks with the Armed Forces minister. They are upset about how the minister was able to make immediate comment about the airworthiness of the Nimrod without reading the coroners report. Robert Dicketts, father of L/Cpl Oliver Dicketts, 27 - who was killed in the explosion - has written to Mr Ainsworth on behalf of all the families of those killed as follows

First of all we were all very upset that you felt able to make an immediate comment about the airworthiness of the Nimrod fleet before you even had the chance to read the coroner's verdict.

Bearing in mind the seriousness of the matter we would have thought that you should have first read it, and then called in your experts to advise you before making any comments.

It is clear to us that your experts have completely different information to that which we heard in the coroner's court.

In view of this we would ask that we have a meeting to both review your experts' evidence and that which we heard.

He also added that the minister would be aware several experts had
Stated quite clearly the fleet was still not airworthy and continued that in cases where the experts thought the plane was still airworthy they had, in some cases, had their evidence "discredited".

Speaking after the inquest coroner Andrew Walker said the fleet had "never been airworthy" as he recorded narrative verdicts.

Des Browne reacted by saying changes made to the Nimrod meant it was now safe for crews.

All in all this is most unsatisfactory. We have a government insisting something is OK and a Coroner saying it isn't. Who are we to believe, we know now that the initial design of the Nimrod was unsafe so even with the modifications it still has the design problems. The Nimrod is still essential to the RAF's role in Afghanistan let us also hope it is also up to the job of keeping its crews safe.

More posts about the Nimrod here.

BBC NEWS UK Nimrod families want safety talks

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