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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 December 2007, 17:14 GMT
Pilot's wife blames MoD for crash
Lt Al Squires coffin is carried from Nairn's Old Parish Church in November 2006
Allan Squires was the captain of the Nimrod which crashed
The widow of a Nimrod captain who was killed when the aircraft crashed in Afghanistan said she blames the Ministry of Defence for his death.

Adele Squires also said she believed her husband's final moments were spent fighting to save the aircraft, which had been based at RAF Kinloss, Moray.

The mother-of-two was speaking as an official report said the crash in 2006 was probably caused by a fuel leak.

Flt Lt Allan Squires, 39, was one of 14 personnel killed in the incident.

In a statement in the House of Commons, Defence Secretary Des Browne apologised to relatives of the victims of the Nimrod MR2 explosion in Afghanistan last September.

Speaking after the release of findings from an RAF board of inquiry into the crash, Mr Browne insisted that the Nimrod was still safe to fly but promised a review of the arrangements for ensuring airworthiness and safe operation.

He said he understood that it was a very dificult day for the family of the dead servicemen.

Mr Browne added: "I want to pay tribute to the professionalism and bravery of the crew and all those on board the Nimrod."

We live in hope that they will not let this happen in future
Adele Squires
Pilot's widow

Last November, mourners gathered in Nairn, near Inverness, to remember Flt Lt Squires, from Clatterbridge, Wirral.

In a statement, Mrs Squires said: "I can see him now, fighting with the controls and trying his best.

"He believed in always trying his best at everything.

"I do blame the MoD, but where is that going to get me? It angers me to know that the pain we are all going through could so easily have been avoided."

However, Mrs Squires added: "There is no point being angry with them. It is not going to bring them back.

"We just want some justice and the MoD to sit up and take notice.

"What they have done could have been avoided. We live in hope that they will not let this happen in future."

RAF Kinloss Station Commander, Group Captain Jerry Kessell, said he hoped the board of inquiry had provided the families with the answers they had been seeking.

He added that the station would offer them support while delivering the "vital operational" capability when needed.

Lt Al Squires coffin is carried from Nairn's Old Parish Church in November 2006
Flt Lt Al Squires' coffin being carried from Nairn's Old Parish Church

Scottish National Party MP Angus Robertson, whose Moray constituency is home to the Nimrod fleet at RAF Kinloss, said the inquiry confirmed that the crew did everything they could in the circumstances to save the aircraft.

He said: "They were brave professional aviators to the last.

"This is recognised at RAF Kinloss and the entire service and civilian community in Moray. We pay tribute to them today.

"The inquiry has found that the age of the Nimrod aircraft was a possible contributory factor to the crash in Afghanistan.

"This is a serious cause for concern as it impacts on the rest of the fleet which is nearly 40 years old."

Mr Robertson said that with a four-year wait for new Nimrods to enter service, the recommendations of the RAF board of inquiry should be implemented "as a priority".

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