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Telford man dies in Afghan blast

Telford | News | Published:

A 34-year-old Shropshire man has died in an explosion while working in Afghanistan.A 34-year-old Shropshire man has died in an explosion while working in Afghanistan. Mark Fitzpatrick, from Telford, was disposing of ammunition in the Parwan province when the tragedy happened. He had been working for DynCorp International, an American company, clearing mines and other explosive devices left over from previous wars. Mr Fitzpatrick, who lived in Priorslee, was killed on November 20. His father, Ian Fitzpatrick, paid tribute to his son, whose work, he said, had saved many lives. Read more in the Shropshire Star

A 34-year-old Shropshire man has died in an explosion while working in Afghanistan.

Mark Fitzpatrick, from Telford, was disposing of ammunition in the Parwan province when the tragedy happened.

He had been working for DynCorp International, an American company, clearing mines and other explosive devices left over from previous wars.

Mr Fitzpatrick, who lived in Priorslee, was killed on November 20.

His father, Ian Fitzpatrick, paid tribute to his son, whose work, he said, had saved many lives.

Mr Fitzpatrick said: "He died while conducting a controlled explosion of a cache of explosives.

"It's a tragic loss for the family to lose such a loving young man who loved his job and was loved by those around him.

"He has made us immensely proud with the work he did and from the recognition he has had from around the world from his work.

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"In his job, he saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives."

Steve Gaffney, the chairman and chief executive officer for DynCorp International, said Mr Fitzpatrick was conducting ammunition disposal and demolition operations in the Parwan province when he lost his life.

"Mark gave his life working to support a safer and more secure Afghanistan," Mr Gaffney said.

"We are deeply saddened by this loss and our hearts go out to all of Mark's family, friends and colleagues.

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"Thousands of brave men and women put their lives on the line each day to support our operations in remote and hostile areas around the world. Their courage and sacrifices cannot be measured."

An inquest was opened at Wellington police station yesterday by Telford & Wrekin Coroner Mr John Ellery.

It was adjourned to a date to be fixed.

DynoCorp International has multi-billion dollar contracts to support the US Army in Afghanistan and to help in the training of Afghan police and ministry of defence employees.

It also operates aircraft maintenance programmes and offers rapid-response law enforcement and intelligence training in war-torn regions.

By Jason Lavan and Peter Finch

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