Sea King Helicopter Fumes Causes Cancer in RAF Personnel
Many RAF personnel could be at risk of developing cancer after being exposed to exhaust fumes from the Sea King helicopter.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) was aware that the fumes produced by the helicopter were potentially harmful, but service personnel weren’t told and, as a result, were unwittingly exposed to toxic fumes regularly.
Several service personnel have been diagnosed with various types of cancer, including multiple myeloma, throat cancer and testicular cancer, and some have since successfully claimed compensation from the MoD.
It appears the MoD were fully aware of the risks posed by Sea King helicopters some time ago, so it’s extremely disappointing that service personnel find themselves in this position.
We’re already representing individuals in compensation claims against the MoD, and fully understand the anger and disappointment they’re feeling right now.
If you were diagnosed with cancer after working with Sea King helicopters during your time in the RAF, please contact our expert Military Claims Solicitors for a free claims assessment.
We’ll be happy to discuss your situation with you and can let you know straight away if you could claim compensation. Ask us if we can handle your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Nine years ago, RAF Flight Sergeant Zach Stubbings was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare blood and bone marrow cancer, after getting tests for a rash on his neck and wrists. He had to have a stem cell transplant and underwent chemotherapy for 10 months.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Zach said his doctor couldn’t understand what triggered his condition, so he began researching online and found a paper linking cases of the disease in firefighters to diesel exhausts.
He submitted a Freedom of Information Request for any reports about the Sea King and exhaust fumes, and learned that concerns about potential health risks had been raised in previous years.
“There were concerns the fumes might be poisoning the lads before I even joined the Air Force and someone knew but kept signing off the aircraft to fly,” Zach said.
“If we’d known we could have at least worn personal protective clothing. Now I just want to make everyone who flew on the Sea King is aware there is a risk.”
Several of Zach’s colleagues who flew the same helicopter have been diagnosed with various types of cancer, including bowel, throat and testicular cancer.
“We’re talking about people in their 30s, people who, like me, kept themselves fit,” he said. “You don’t twig. You don’t make the connection but someone knew. Someone had this information and didn’t warn us.”
Because of his condition, Zach had to leave the RAF and the MoD accepted his war disability claim, but this was worth just £35 a week, which he said was “a pittance”. He then claimed compensation, and last month, was awarded an undisclosed amount.
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