Robert Swara Seurei

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 23rd November 2022.

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Photo of Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill Alba, East Lothian

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 17 November to Question 86616 on Robert Swara Seurei, what were the (a) conclusions and (b) outcomes of his Department's investigation into the death of Robert Swara Seurei.

Photo of James Heappey James Heappey Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)

The investigation concluded that Mr Seurei, a Locally Employed Civilian (LEC), removed an explosive from the range (that he reportedly described as a candle), which he later attempted to ignite with tragic results.

The investigation identified a number of contributing factors, including: Mr Seurei had not understood the safety briefings and the dangers of removing items from the range (due to language barriers); inadequate supervision; premature removal of safety posts marking the hazardous area (before a thorough daylight check had taken place); and incorrect fitting of a safety fuse, which meant that the explosive did not ignite as intended during the exercise.

The report made a number of recommendations to prevent reoccurrence, all of which are closed. These included: document that a full safety brief must take place for LEC personnel employed on ranges (using an interpreter as required) and, where possible, provide a practical demonstration of the dangers; the requirement to conduct a daylight clearance of the area (before removing hazardous area markings) and clarifying the minimum rank for a Battle Noise Simulation Safety Supervisor.

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