Sunderland soldier lost leg in Apache helicopter friendly-fire incident

Ministry of Defence photo of views of Patrol Base Almas where Lance Corporal Christopher Roney of 3rd Battalion The Rifles, died from head injuries he suffered while serving in Sangin, Helmand, in December 2009. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday September 5, 2012. An inquest into his death is taking place today at Sunderland Civic Centre. Photo credit: Corporal Emma Henderson/MoD /PA Wire

Ministry of Defence photo of views of Patrol Base Almas where Lance Corporal Christopher Roney of 3rd Battalion The Rifles, died from head injuries he suffered while serving in Sangin, Helmand, in December 2009. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday September 5, 2012. An inquest into his death is taking place today at Sunderland Civic Centre. Photo credit: Corporal Emma Henderson/MoD /PA Wire

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RIFLEMAN Alex Swinhoe, from Tunstall, lost his leg in the “blue-on-blue” attack which killed Christopher Roney.

The former Thornhill School pupil, who was only 18 at the time, told the inquest he had just finished sentry duty when a massive explosion went off.

It was so powerful it blew his cigarette out of his mouth and knocked him to the floor.

He went to help defend the base and was shooting from a roof top when he was hit by what he later found out was an Apache helicopter.

The morphine he was give made the situation seem “unreal”, he told the hearing in Sunderland, adding: “It was a bad night really.”

Rifleman Denver Fedee was shooting at the enemy when he was hit in the hand and arm by shrapnel.

The sniper said: “People were shouting, ‘we are the only ones left’.

“That is when you are scared, because you just know you are going to die.”

Despite his injuries, he carried on firing and helped stretcher some of the injured soldiers to safety.