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27 March 2012, 17:20
The colleagues of a soldier killed in Afghanistan after trying to detonate a bomb have been praised for trying to save her.
Captain Lisa Head was serving with the Royal Logistic Corps when she lost her limbs in the blast in an alleyway in Helmand Province in April last year.
The 29-year-old, from Huddersfield, was flown home and treated in hospital in Birmingham, where she died the next day.
At Bradford Coroner's Court, Coroner Paul Marks told the inquest into Capt Head's death that it was “testament to her own physical stamina” and the quality of care she had received that she survived for as long as she did with the “catastrophic injuries”.
He also praised colleagues who went to her aid after the explosion. Professor Marks told Corporal Adam Tucker: “At potential risk to your own lives, you went to the help of one of your fallen comrades and did your absolute best.” He added: “I commend you on that.”
Cpl Tucker told the inquest that he and Capt Head had gone to the alleyway in Nahr-e-Saraj after reports of a suspicious device being found there.
He said Capt Head defused one IED before retreating to a safe distance.
She returned into the alleyway with a colleague to take photographs when a second device partially exploded, resulting in no injuries.
The soldier said Capt Head returned into the alleyway again and a third device detonated. The inquest was told that Capt Head lost both legs, one arm above the elbow and fingers on her other hand in the blast.
Prof Marks recorded a verdict that Capt Head was unlawfully killed on active service in Afghanistan. The coroner said: “I cannot praise too highly the courage of Lisa Head and her colleagues. The reason for this is because they are all volunteers deployed in a theatre of war far from home and family for our continuing benefit and security.”