Runway fire alert at British base in Afghanistan

 

A stolen vehicle was driven onto the runway of the main British base in Afghanistan then burst into flames as US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta arrived there today.

The incident at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province is believed to be linked to an earlier incident, which left a British serviceman with minor injuries.

Mr Panetta arrived at the base to meet troops, commanders and Afghan government officials, just days after a US soldier went on a deadly shooting spree in Kandahar.

Around the same time as the defence secretary's aircraft landed, a vehicle got onto the runway at Camp Bastion and caught fire.

The driver, a local man employed at the base, is being treated at Camp Bastion's hospital for his injuries, according to a spokeswoman at the camp.

The base is home to a large contingent of US troops as well as UK forces.

A statement from Isaf said: "Isaf is aware of a stolen vehicle incident today at Camp Bastion, which resulted in the injury of one coalition service member.

"The alleged perpetrator was apprehended by base security personnel. We are currently investigating to determine more facts.

"This incident took place this afternoon around the same time US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta was arriving in Afghanistan.

"At no point was the Secretary or anyone on the aircraft in any danger from this incident."

Camp Bastion was put under "lockdown" in the aftermath of the incident, with flights and movements in and out restricted while it was investigated.

Ministry of Defence police patrolled roads inside the base in the wake of the incident.

A spokeswoman at Camp Bastion said: "Procedures were put in place to account for the whereabouts of all military and civilian personnel and, to achieve this, movement within Camp Bastion was restricted."

The incident comes amid increasing tension between Isaf forces and Afghan locals.

At the weekend 16 Afghan civilians, including several children, were shot dead by a US soldier.

Last month there was anger after US troops burned Korans on an American base.

Mr Panetta's two-day visit is scheduled to include meetings with President Hamid Karzai, Afghan defence officials and provincial leaders, as well as routine discussions with his commanders on the ground.

Asked about the incident at a White House press conference with US President Barack Obama, Prime Minister David Cameron said it was not yet clear exactly what had happened.

"It is very early details still coming through. Obviously we will want to examine and investigate exactly what has happened before making clear anything about it," he said.

"But the security of our people, of our troops - the security of both our nation's forces - is absolutely the priority.

"If there are things that need to be done in the coming hours and days to keep them safer, be in no doubt we will do them."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Front-Office Developer (C#, .NET, Java,Artificial Intelligence)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Front-Of...

C++ Quant Developer

£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...

Java/Calypso Developer

£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, J2EE, J...

SQL Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer SQL, C#, Stored Procedures, MDX...

Day In a Page

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York