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UK plane blown up by coalition.

Byline: By Caroline Gammell

A british Hercules aircraft was destroyed by coalition explosives experts yesterday after it suffered significant damage during an 'incident on landing' in south-eastern Iraq. Two personnel were slightly injured but all 38 people on board were able to escape to safety, the Ministry of Defence said.

Although the incident took place on Monday, the aircraft was secured overnight and destroyed yesterday morning because it was considered too dangerous to try to recover it.

Controlled charges were placed in the stricken aircraft by explosive ordnance device teams at 11.30am local time.

The Hercules, which was on a routine mission, was landing in Maysan Province at 8.10pm local time on Monday when it got into trouble.

It was touching down on a 'tactical landing zone', which is a piece of flattened ground rather than a permanent runway.

Although there is no indication that the aircraft was shot down, it is not yet known whether there was any hostile action on the ground. There is no suggestion of pilot error.

An MoD spokesman said, 'The aircraft was significantly damaged during the landing.

'The site was secured and, after a thorough assessment of the damage, it was concluded that the aircraft could not be recovered without exposing our personnel to undue risk.

'There was also a potential risk that anti-Iraqi forces might obtain information on specialist equipment.

'The aircraft was therefore safely destroyed by multinational forces.'
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 14, 2007
Words:238
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