British firefighter among dead in Iran earthquake
Tuesday 30 December 2003
A former British firefighter was among the victims of the Iranian earthquake. Gavin Sexton 36, from Southampton, was staying at a guesthouse in Bam when the earthquake struck just before dawn on Boxing Day.
By an extraordinary coincidence, Mr Sexton, who was travelling across Asia on an old Enfield motorcycle, was identified as a victim of the quake by his former colleagues from the Hampshire fire brigade who had travelled to Bam to help tackle the disaster.
While waiting for a visa to enter Turkey, Mr Sexton spent Christmas Day near the city's ancient fort and died in the rubble of the Akbar guest house. Due to the huge number of dead being recovered from the ruins of the city, he was buried immediately by the Iranian authorities. His personal effects were found in the rubble yesterday.
A spokesman for the Hampshire fire service said: "Mr Sexton left Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service in August 2003 to fulfil a long-standing ambition to travel the world and is believed to have been en route from India to Turkey when the earthquake struck."
Peter Crook, a search and rescue team leader who was Mr Sexton's station commander for more than a decade, said: "It was a miraculous coincidence, a bit of a shock. We knew there was a British citizen involved in the earthquake and we heard a rumour he was a firefighter, but it never occurred to us that he was a Hampshire firefighter let alone someone we worked directly with."
Four days after the earthquake destroyed the historic city, killing up to 30,000 people, British and other international rescue team began pulling out yesterday to allow other aid workers access to the tens of thousands who have been made homeless.
The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action
Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
4Chan naked photos leak: Celebrity Twitter reactions to the mass breach of privacy
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Supply Teacher re...
£140 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...
£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...
£140 - £160 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1&2 Supply Te...