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Soldier Shot Dead At RAF Tain Bombing Range In Scottish Highlands

Incident happened during ‘live-firing’ exercise.

01/11/2016 22:52 | Updated 02 November 2016

One person has died at an RAF bombing range in the Scottish Highlands.

Officers were called to RAF Tain on the Dornoch Firth in Easter Ross at 5.55pm on Tuesday to investigate reports of an incident. A police cordon was set up around the base as authorities dealt with the incident. 

The BBC reported that police said there were no other casualties and the person’s next of kin have been informed.

An investigation is underway into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

The range is used by the RAF and the army and has a rifle range and small arms range as well as bombing ranges.

An army spokeswoman said:

“We are aware of an incident at the Tain base, near Inverness.

“We will release more information as and when it becomes available. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this point.”

The Tain range is used by the UK armed forces, US air force and other Nato air forces for bombing and strafing practice. It has 18 separate targets suitable for a variety of weapons and different delivery methods.

Typhoons and Tornados from RAF Lossiemouth are the main air users of the range. Tain is also responsible for Cape Wrath range near the village of Durness.

Both ranges employ a number of civilian contracted workers who manage the estate, assist in the control tower, keep score of accuracy in target practice and deal with ordnance clearance from the range.

The incident comes a little more than two months after a soldier was shot dead during a live-fire exercise at the Otterburn training area in Northumberland.

Pte Conor McPherson, 24, a member of the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, sustained a serious head wound on 22 August. Just over a month before McPherson’s death a soldier died on a training exercise on the hottest day of the year in Powys, mid-Wales.

Joshua Hoole, from Ecclefechan near Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, was on pre-course training for the Platoon Sergeants’ Battle Course when he died on 19 July. The 26-year-old member of the Rifles regiment collapsed after taking part in a fitness test near the Dering Lines infantry training centre near Brecon at about 6.30am.

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