Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

Third SAS training soldier dies

The MoD has confirmed a third soldier involved in SAS selection training in the Brecon Beacons has died

A third army reserve soldier has died from injuries sustained during SAS selection training in the Brecon Beacons, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.

The man had been in a serious condition in hospital after climbing south Wales' highest mountain on July 13, one of the hottest days of the year.

Edward John Maher and Lance Corporal Craig John Roberts also died after collapsing during the military exercise.

An MoD spokesman said: "It is with great sadness that we can confirm that a third army reserve soldier injured during a training exercise in the Brecon Beacons has died of his injuries. The family have asked for a period of grace before he is named and request that this is respected by the media."

An inquest at Brecon Law Courts in Powys, mid Wales, gave the medical deaths of L/Cpl Roberts and Mr Maher as "unascertained". Witnesses on the day said they saw two soldiers "clearly in distress" who pleaded with them for some drinking water.

L/Cpl Roberts had been pronounced dead on the mountain at 5.15pm while Mr Maher died at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil almost three hours later.

Detective Inspector Ieuan Wyn Jones, of Dyfed Powys Police, told the inquest on July 24 that further tests would be carried out into the deaths.

Mr Maher and L/Cpl Roberts were understood to be taking part in the aptitude training element of the course to become SAS reservists. They were climbing Pen Y Fan, the highest mountain in southern Britain.

It is known as the location for the "Fan Dance" where soldiers hoping to join the special forces march over the mountain carrying a heavy pack and a rifle, then do the route in reverse in a set time.

In the aftermath of the deaths, investigations have been launched by both the police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Powys coroner Louise Hunt will also launch her own probe - which she said was covered by Article 2 of the Human Rights Act.

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