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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 October 2006, 10:00 GMT
Full Nimrod safety probe promised
Nimrod
Concerns have been raised about the Nimrod fleet
Concerns about the safety of the RAF Nimrod fleet will be fully investigated, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has promised.

The inquiry comes in the wake of a crash in Afghanistan in September which claimed the lives of 14 servicemen, 12 from RAF Kinloss in Moray.

Relatives and experts have expressed concerns about Nimrod safety.

Defence Secretary Des Browne has confirmed the "age and management" of the Nimrod fleet will be looked at.

'Scope welcomed'

Investigators have been examining the wreckage of the aircraft.

Mr Browne told SNP defence spokesman Angus Robertson MP: "The Board of Inquiry is conducting a thorough investigation which will include consideration of the concerns raised about the age and management of the Nimrod fleet."

The pledge comes after concerns were expressed by Shona Beattie, the widow of Flt Sgt Stephen Beattie who died in the crash, and Flt Lt Jimmy Jones - a former RAF Nimrod trial officer.

Mr Robertson said: "I welcome the detailed update by the MoD which gives assurances about the inquiry into the Nimrod tragedy.

"Des Browne is unequivocal about the scope of the investigation which I think will be welcomed by many in the service community."

Twelve Kinloss-based airmen, a Royal Marine and a soldier died after a suspected technical fault.


SEE ALSO
RAF widow hits out at 'cutbacks'
16 Oct 06 |  North East/N Isles
RAF bodies return home to Kinloss
12 Sep 06 |  North East/N Isles

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