Paratrooper killed in Afghan minefield waited five hours

British paratrooper killed in Afghan minefield 'waited five hours to be rescued'
A British paratrooper died after waiting five hours for a helicopter to airlift him from an Afghan minefield, after an initial rescue attempt caused him fatal injuries, his inquest has heard.

By Aislinn Simpson
Last Updated: 11:07PM BST 06 Oct 2008

Corporal Mark Wright: went into the minefield to help others Photo: IAN JONES
Corporal Mark Wright was killed, three men lost legs and another suffered terrible shrapnel wounds after they trod on the hidden devices as they moved into position to defend Kajaki hydroelectric dam from the Taliban in September 2006.
The inquest into his death heard that a British Chinook helicopter sent to rescue the men from the Third Battalion, the Parachute Regiment around an hour after the first explosion could not land on the hilly terrain and lacked the winch needed to lift them to safety.
Instead, it flew away and, according to witnesses, blew another mine into Cpl Wright as it did so, leaving him with fatal injuries.
He and his men were forced to wait another five hours for an American Knighthawk helicopter to be scrambled to pick them up.
Cpl Wright died onboard the helicopter before reaching the Camp Bastion military hospital.
At the start of the inquest into his death, a platoon commander with Cpl Wright's said he was warned by an American private security firm that the area was mined several months before.
Captain Nicholas French said that because of the danger, the rules for moving about near Kajaki dam were restricted to identified paths and were so stringent that the American security manager, known as Kajaki John, told him: "If you go off this line, I'll shoot you myself."
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Thought so.. Shocking like that something like this happened! Its all one big accident but still it shouldn't have happened, so many injured in a short space of time..
FatBoyGeorge said:
Not much of a condolance to the family and friends but if we didn't make mistakes, we would never learn. That's how we progress.
But will we learn? Yes, those at the sharp end will and will pass on the story to their successors - it will save lives and Cpl Wright's actions will continue to inspire others.

However I fear that further from the battlefields and the training grounds this will be lost - The word of the treasury and MoD manderins is all powerful but their persistance of experience and knowledge crap - in ten years we will have fewer helos still and some idiot will be asking why we need winches for our new a/c.
I guess this is one good reason why Merlins are all supposed to have rescue hoists fitted as part of the standard kit.

Whether or not there will ever be enough of them in theatre, not broke, with enough crew hours available etc etc etc is another matter.
The Government needs to give the Troops on the ground Priority when it comes to their spending 'budget', there should be an IRT Team on immediate notice to move throughout the theatre, several teams if need be to cover the area, it's worked very well in other Conflict zones, a team of 4 RE EOD, an Anaesthetist and Advanced Medic and the crew of a helicopter with a working winch or at least the ability for the Sappers to abseil in, what's happened in the past few years, is it all about money? if it is then this current Government needs to be seriously held responsible for sending thousands of British Troops into one of the most heavily mined Countries in the World without a serious IRT capability to recover and extract minefield casualties!

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