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Byline: Mark Austin

THERE are many alarming aspects to the devastating report blaming MoD cost-cutting for the Nimrod crash which claimed the lives of 14 servicemen.

But two stand out.

First, the errors and the neglect that led to the disaster were neither isolated nor limited to one or two people making fatal mistakes.

They were instead the result of years of complacency and failings by a large number of senior officials who should have known better.

And here's the other point. The report says the crash might not have happened if there hadn't been a desperate drive to reduce costs and bring in projects on new, lower budgets.

Now the economies over the past few years are nothing compared with the savage cuts in spending being predicted for the next few years... whichever party is in government.

And that begs a very big question: what kind of sacrifices on safety will be made in the future? How many more such disasters await us?

When we have our Armed Forces stretched like seldom before, shouldn't the protection of our servicemen and women be absolutely paramount?

Of course, there are no guarantees of safety in war. That would be a ludicrous thing to suggest. But the deal must be to make them as safe as possible.

And that means making sure the aircraft they fly in are not ticking timebombs.


Nimrod... safety rules ignored
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 1, 2009
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