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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 November 2006, 10:54 GMT
'Hellhole' claim heard at inquest
A Hawick soldier who died of heat stroke was living in a "hot, dusty hellhole" in southern Iraq, an inquest has been told.

Territorial Army Pte Jason Smith's inquest heard "it was only a matter of time" before someone was seriously affected by the suffocating heat.

It was also told that a request had been made for generators to power air conditioning where he was based.

Pte Smith, 32, died in Iraq on 13 August 2003. The inquest continues.

Earlier evidence had heard that Pte Smith died of heat stroke after his body temperature had risen to 41.4C.

'Unbearably hot'

Sgt Ewan Stuart told the inquest of the "unbearably hot" conditions in Al Amarah in Iraq's Maysan province.

Fellow sergeant, Joseph Holmes, told the coroner it was a "a hot, dusty hellhole".

Sgt Stuart said Pte Smith had appeared to be suffering no more than any of the others in the company but had visited the medic the day before he died and been told to rest.

The coroner asked Sgt Stuart whether - given the conditions - it was only a matter of time before something like Pte Smith's death happened.

"I would say so sir, yes," he replied.

The inquest, in Oxford, continues.

Inquest starts into soldier death
06 Nov 06 |  South of Scotland
Soldiers' bodies arrive from Iraq
21 Aug 03 |  Lincolnshire


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