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Ministry of Defence criticised over soldiers' tent fire deaths

Private Robert Wood (left) and Private Dean Hutchinson (right). Credit: Ministry of Defence

A coroner has criticised the Ministry of Defence for a series of failures over the deaths of two soldiers, including one from County Durham, in a fire which engulfed their tent as they slept at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.

Wiltshire and Swindon Coroner David Ridley said he would be making a "preventing further deaths" report over the case of Privates Rob Wood, 28, and Dean Hutchinson, 23, of Spennymoor.

Mr Ridley recorded a narrative conclusion and listed eight areas where there was either a "systemic failure" or "failure" in the circumstances that led to the men's deaths.

The two soldiers, who served with the Royal Logistic Corps, were killed when fire swept through a logistical centre at Camp Bastion in Helmand on February 14 2011.

There were delays in alerting the military fire brigade because soldiers at the scene did not know the emergency 222 number.

Fire investigators have concluded that the blaze started in the vicinity of the electrical appliances and quickly spread, igniting combustible materials stored nearby.

The inquest heard that both senior commanders and fire safety officers did not know the soldiers were sleeping on duty during night shifts.

Had they known, the fire risk assessment for the tent would have had to have reflected it, with separate sleeping areas and an unobstructed rear exit.

The "unwritten rule" for the troop was that the duty non-commissioned officer should have remained awake while the other soldiers slept.

Army dog posthumous medal for Afghanistan bravery

Sasha has been awarded the highest military honour for her work in Afghanistan Credit: PDSA/PA

An army search dog killed in Afghanistan along with her handler, who's from Newcastle, is to receive the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

Sasha will be posthumously awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal, at a ceremony today.

The labrador and her handler, Lance Corporal Kenneth Rowe, from West Moor, died in 2008, when they were ambushed on patrol.

MORE: Army dog killed in Afghanistan given highest military honour

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Army dog killed in Afghanistan given highest military honour

Sasha has been awarded the highest military honour for her work in Afghanistan Credit: PDSA/PA

An army search dog killed in Afghanistan is to receive the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

Sasha, a four-year-old yellow Labrador, will be awarded the Dickin Medal by the PDSA animal charity.

She is thought to have saved the lives of dozens of soldiers and Afghan civilians by sniffing out explosive devices and weapons.

She died alongside her handler, Lance Corposal Kenneth Rowe - from West Moor, Newcastle - when they were ambushed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack.

L/Cpl Rowe, 24, was due to return home the day he died but asked to remain in Afghanistan as he was concerned about a lack of cover for his colleagues.

The soldier's mother Lyn said her son would be very happy to know about Sasha's award.

She said: "Kenneth always adored animals and loved working wit his dogs. He took his role protecting his fellow soldiers very seriously. We are so proud of him and he would be incredibly proud that Sasha's bravery is being recognised."

Tributes paid to Sapper Moralee on day he is repatriated

The body of a soldier from Ryton who died in Afghanistan has been been flown back to Britain. Sapper Adam Moralee, who joined the Royal Engineers when he left school at 17, leaves behind fiancee Emma and parents Lynn and Darren.

At the time of his death, his family paid tribute to the soldier, who they said "touched the hearts" of all who knew him.

"Adam was a loving son, fiance and friend who touched everyone's hearts that came into contact with him. His passion for cars and anything with an engine made him a true petrolhead through and through.

"As a son he was full of life and always the joker of the family, who never took anything too seriously. He loved his job and the friends he made from his time in the Army, and he would never have swapped those experiences for the world."

"He treated his fiancee, Emma, like his princess and the love they shared was clear to all of those who were lucky enough to see it. To be his wife would have made Emma feel like the luckiest girl in the world and they were each other's one true love and soulmates.

"Adam touched the hearts of all of us who were lucky to know him and not a day will go by where he is not in our thoughts and hearts. He will be sorely missed by family and friends and forever loved by all. Rest in peace son."

"Quietly determined and utterly dedicated, Sapper Adam Moralee was an outstanding soldier.

"His dry wit and his commitment to the team, be it on operations or the football field, have made him a well-known, trusted member of his troop, his squadron and the regiment.

"We will eternally remember him as the dedicated professional and likeable sapper that he was."

– Lieutenant Colonel Steve Davies RE, Commanding Officer 32 Engineer Regiment

Repatriation of North East soldier killed in Afghanistan

Sapper Adam Moralee Credit: Ministry of Defence

The body of a soldier from Newcastle who died in Afghanistan has been been flown back to Britain. Sapper Adam Moralee, 23, was killed while working with plant equipment at Camp Bastion.

Soldiers lined the street and saluted in tribute as his cortege passed through the Memorial Garden in Carterton, Oxfordshire.

Sapper Moralee had been deployed to Afghanistan with the 32 Engineer Regiment last September. He joined the Royal Engineers when he left school at 17, leaves behind fiancee Emma and parents Lynn and Darren.

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Defence Secretary pays tribute to Sapper Moralee

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond released a tribute to Sapper Adam Moralee, from Newcastle, who is the first soldier to be killed in Afghanistan in 2014.

He said: "It is clear from the tributes paid to Sapper Moralee that he was a determined and respected soldier who was good-humoured, trustworthy and considerate.

"His untimely death is a tragedy and my thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family, fiancee and friends at this difficult time."

"Rest in peace, son" say parents of soldier from Newcastle killed in Afghanistan

The parents of a soldier from Newcastle who has died in Afghanistan said he was full of life, the joker of the family, and he treated his fiancee, Emma, like a princess.

Sapper Adam Moralee was 23. His parents, Lynn and Darren, said he would not have swapped his time in the Army for the world.

:"Adam was a loving son, fiance, and friend who touched everyone's hearts that came into contact with him.

"His passion for cars and anything with an engine made him a true petrol head through and through.

"As a son he was full of life and always the joker of the family, who never took anything too seriously. He loved his job and the friends he made from his time in the Army, and he would never have swapped those experiences for the world."

"He treated his fiancee, Emma, like his princess and the love they shared was clear to all of those who were lucky enough to see it.

"To be his wife would have made Emma feel like the luckiest girl in the world and they were each others' one true love and soul mates.

"Adam touched the hearts of all of us who were lucky to know him and not a day will go by where he is not in our thoughts and hearts. He will be sorely missed by family and friends and forever loved by all.

Rest in peace son."

– Family of Sapper Adam Moralee

Sapper Adam Moralee, from Newcastle, killed in Afghanistan

Sapper Adam Moralee was fatally injured while preparing equipment for redeployment out of Afghanistan Credit: MOD

A soldier from Newcastle has been killed in Afghanistan. Sapper Adam Moralee was serving with 32 Engineer Regiment at Camp Bastion. He was preparing equipmnt for redeployment out of Afghanistan.

He leaves behind a fiancee.

In a statement issued through the MoD, this family described him as "full of life and always the joker of the family".

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