News & Cases

“The exceptional Serjeants’ Inn Chambers is instructed in some of the most prominent cases in the country”
Chambers & Partners

Edward Pleeth acted for the Ministry of Defence in Challenger 2 tank explosion inquest

23rd July 2018

Edward Pleeth was instructed to represent the Ministry of Defence in this inquest arising out of the deaths Corporal Mathew Hatfield and Corporal Darren Neilson following the explosion of a Challenger 2 Tank during in a live fire exercise in Wales.

Investigations discovered that the tank was fired without a Bolt Vent Axial (“BVA”) fitted. The BVA is a critical piece of machinery designed to contain the propellant gas when the gun is fired. In the circumstances hot gas was ejected in to the cabin of the tank killing or severely injuring the occupants. The situation was aggravated by the incorrect storage of spare explosive charges within the turret of the Tank.

The inquest was held in Solihull between 2 – 17 July 2018. The inquest concluded with a narrative conclusion identifying a number of deficiencies whilst also recognising the improvements that the MOD already made to equipment, training, weapons drills, and procedures.

Press coverage can be found here:
The Guardian
The Times


Back to index