Air Crash Death Report To Slam RAF

Nimrod Spy Plane Explosion

28.10.2009

A report into the death of 14 British servicemen in an RAF aircraft crash near Kandahar, Afghanistan, is expected to criticise senior military officers.

The deaths, which happened when a Nimrod spy plane exploded in mid-air, were the biggest single loss of life for British forces since the Falklands War.

A leading aviation expert will publish his findings from a 22-month review into the disaster. He was given the remit of assigning responsibility for any failings and recommend a full public inquiry if necessary.

Mr Haddon-Cave has told relatives of the men killed in the crash that he is likely to name and criticise organisations and individuals in his report.

Serious concerns have already been raised about the airworthiness of the 37-year-old Nimrod MR2, call sign XV230, that blew up minutes after undergoing air-to-air refuelling on September 2 2006.

A military board of inquiry found the crash was caused when leaking fuel came into contact with a hot-air pipe, and recommended the replacement of fuel seals and engine bay ducts.

A coroner ruled in May last year that the RAF's Nimrods had never been airworthy since entering service in 1969 and called for the entire fleet to be grounded.

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