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Inquest told of "explosion" before crash

Pte Michael Peers, who was in the Ridgeback when it turned over and fell into the canal, described to the inquest how he managed to escape from the submerged vehicle and make his way to safety as he was on the brink of unconsciousness.

In a statement read to the hearing, he said the vehicle was travelling at speed, leaving the following Ridgeback to trail behind at some distance, as it responded to the call for help from the ANP at CP5. He said that the crew were all wearing their seatbelts and had opened the hatches as they travelled close to the canal.

He said: "I heard a loud bang which was like an explosion, I do not know where it came from or where it impacted if it did impact.

"I felt the vehicle jolt and I thought it might be an IED. I felt the vehicle swerve then flip over on to its right hand side.

"The whole event lasted a couple of seconds or less. The vehicle then fell over on to its left side and submerged in the water, I didn't have time to take a breath.

"I managed to stand up and pushed out on the walls and found an opening, I managed to pull myself through the opening. I cannot expand on any further details because of the shock and confusion."

He said the weight of his body armour caused him to sink below the surface of the water. "I couldn't remove my body armour and in my last moment of consciousness I managed to kick my legs."

He was then helped from the water by members of the ANP. He added: "I started to cough up lots of water."

He said it took about 45 minutes to retrieve the vehicle from the water which involved the other Ridgeback using a tow rope to pull it out.

Pte Peers said that he then saw the bodies of Pte Isaac then L/Cpl Ramsden being brought out of the vehicle. He said: "I was in shock, I smoked about 20 cigarettes to calm down."

And he added: "I do not know what may have caused the accident but I did see extensive damage to the front of the Ridgeback."

The inquest, which is due to last six days, was adjourned until tomorrow.

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Grade One status for Port Sunlight memorial

A view of the Port Sunlight War Memorial.

Sir William Goscombe John's granite War Memorial at Port Sunlight has been granted Grade 1-listed status - one of only seven war memorials in the UK to be give the top accolade.

English Heritage said "it's right that Port Sunlight's monument sits alongside the most historically important memorials in the country".

And residents of the Wirral village, already proud of the monument to the fallen, are delighted its now got the maximum protection.

Tranmere sack manager Rob Edwards

Tranmere Rovers have confirmed they've terminated the contract of manager Rob Edwards.

The Prenton Park club suffered their seventh loss of the season when beaten by Plymouth on Saturday.

In a statement on their website, Rovers chairman Mark Palios said: “Rob is a decent man who has worked very hard over the past few months for the Football Club.

“However, with the club currently sitting at the bottom of League 2 for the first time in 32 years it was decided this was the right time to make the break."

Appeal after "nasty" assault in Wirral nightclub

Do you know this man? A CCTV image of the assault suspect. Credit: Merseyside Police
Do you know this man? A CCTV image of the assault suspect. Credit: Merseyside Police

Police have released CCTV stills of two men officers would like to speak to in connection with a serious assault in Birkenhead.

The incident happened at the Beach Club on Conway Street in the early hours of Friday, June 20.

Inside the club a 26-year-old man was attacked by two males he did not know.

The victim required medical treatment for head injuries, bruised ribs and injuries to his torso and legs.

Detectives believe the two men in the pictures may have information that could help them with their enquiries and would urge them or anyone who recognises them to get in touch.

"This was a nasty attack on a young man who had been enjoying a night out. He sustained serious injuries as a result of the attack and is currently recovering at home. "I am particularly interested in speaking to the two men pictured as we believe they could help us with our enquiries."

– Detective Constable Chris O'Connor, Merseyside Police

Anyone with information is asked to call Merseyside Police on 0151 777 2264 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Jogger critical after Wirral crash

Merseyside Police is appealing for witnesses after a serious crash in Wirral left a man in a critical condition.

At about 4.15pm yesterday afternoon a 43-year-old local man, who was out running, was hit by collision a black Mercedes at the junction of Bebington Road and Spital Road, Spital.

The driver of the car stopped at the scene and is assisting the police. The jogger, suffered multiple injuries, was taken to hospital where he is being treated for a serious head injury. His condition is described as critical.

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