New safeguards in place, says Army after shell goes astray

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Andrew Snook next to the crater on his farm at Patney after an Army shell landed in a field near the main Penzance-Paddington railway line Andrew Snook next to the crater on his farm at Patney after an Army shell landed in a field near the main Penzance-Paddington railway line

The Army has issued a statement following a meeting with Patney Parish Council after a shell went astray saying that 'additional safeguards' are now in place.

The shell flew over a busy main road and an entire village before landing just 300 yards from a mainline train track on Wednesday last week.

It left a 6ft-wide crater in a field owned by farmer Andrew Snook, 55, and scattered earth and rock up to 40ft.

Mr Snook, who farms on the edge of Salisbury Plain at Patney, near Devizes, said it was lucky that nobody was killed.

The Army statement said: “Last week an artillery shell landed outside the range boundary of the Salisbury Plain Training Area.

"All artillery firing was suspended and a thorough investigation was immediately initiated.

"As a result additional safeguards have been introduced to our existing safety procedures to help ensure this does not happen again.

"The Army has apologised to the landowner affected and the local community. We can be clear that the safety of our personnel and the general public is our priority in all training.”

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