Tyneside soldier hurt by landmine

A Tyneside soldier was injured when his Land Rover was blown up in Afghanistan.

A Tyneside soldier was injured when his Land Rover was blown up in Afghanistan.

Corporal Karl Lockhart, from Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, suffered a fractured cheekbone and eye socket and his two colleagues also escaped with relatively minor injuries.

The men, all members of Whiskey Company, 45 Commando, were in the district of Sangin, in Helmand Province, when the anti-tank land mine went off.

After the blast the soldiers stayed in the car in case another landmine was planted nearby.

They were rescued by their troop sergeant who followed their tracks and, prodding for mines, guided the trio back on the established safe route.

Fellow Marine Simon Price, from Wigan, Lancashire, suffered from shock and Marine Matthew Brown, 23, suffered a bloody nose.

During the blast, the vehicle's engine block and front axle absorbed most of the energy and sheared off from the rest of the vehicle.

Marine Brown, from near Pickering, North Yorkshire, said: "As we were driving along I felt a massive blast. I didn't hear anything.

I was knocked unconscious for a few minutes and then I was shaken awake.

"My nose was throbbing and I thought it was broken, but it was just bleeding.

"As we looked around, we saw the damage it had done - the engine block was 10 to 15 metres in front of us."

He added: "I think I was lucky, to be honest. The vehicle is a newer version of the one we had originally. It has more safety features and is designed to shear off when a blast occurs."

The blast happened a month before the trio are due to finish their tour of duty.

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