Soldier escapes death by a split second

Adam Atkinson next to the vehicle he was driving in Afghanistan when it was blown up.
Adam Atkinson next to the vehicle he was driving in Afghanistan when it was blown up.

A SQUADDIE escaped death by a split second when the armoured vehicle he was driving was blown six metres in the air by a bomb.

CFN Adam Atkinson, 20, from Euston Road, Morecambe, along with five other soldiers, survived the blast which happened in the Helmand Province in Afghanistan earlier this year.

The high explosive charge detonated beneath the front wheels of the Ridgback armoured vehicle they were in, throwing the wagon its own length down the desert track before crashing to the ground, its left front wheel ripped off.

Cfn Atkinson told a Sunday newspaper: “The Ridgback must be one of the best vehicles in the Army.

“It saved all our lives that day.

“Instead of getting badly injured or worse, we were checked out by medics and considered fit enough to go back out on patrol a few hours later, which we did.”

The crew from 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment - known as The Tigers -spoke after returning to their base in Paderborn, Germany, where they received their Operational Service medals.

Lance Corporal James Garbutt, 23, from Finsbury Park, north London, said: “We were doing about 16mph at the time and went straight up in the air.

“We flew about six metres before hitting the ground again. You go into shock. But my first job as commander was to make sure the crew and the three blokes in the back were all ok.”