Live firing stopped after shell goes astray

First published in Forces focus by

THE army stopped all live firing on Salisbury Plain and launched an investigation after a farmer in Patney, near Devizes found a 2m deep crater in a cornfield just 300m from the main Paddington to Penzance railway line.

An explosion was heard at about 10am on Wednesday, but the crater was not discovered until Friday when it was reported to the army authorities. The point of impact lies three miles outside the training area.

4 and 19 Regiments Royal Artillery equipped with AS (90) and 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery with the 105 Light Gun were conducting regimental live firing on that date. A King’s Royal Hussars Challenger 2 squadron and a CVRT squadron were also using the plain at the time They were on a week-long training session, taking part in a number of live firing exercises.

An army spokesman said: “Following an incident in which an artillery shell landed outside the range boundary a thorough investigation was initiated.

“Live firing remained suspended until the investigation has reported.

“Local residents were informed of the outcome and, if deemed appropriate, additional safety measures were put into place.

“The officer responsible for the safe use of the range has spoken to the landowner where the shell landed and apologised.”

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