Soldier who saved Afghan child's life receives bravery award
9 Oct 12An Army engineer who risked his life to help the casualties after an Afghan minibus hit a roadside bomb, saving a child who lost a leg in the explosion, has been awarded the Queen's Commendation for Bravery.
Sapper Ryan Pavey, aged 24, was the lead explosive ordnance disposal searcher for a team tasked with clearing the infamous Route 611 of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) when the civilian minibus bypassed the military cordon which had been set up to stop vehicles while they worked.
The minibus then triggered a large IED which had been planted at the side of the road less than 100 metres away. Eighteen civilians were killed outright, the majority of them women and young children. Five others were critically injured including a four-year-old boy.
IEDs planted along the road had already destroyed two heavily armoured vehicles in the past two weeks alone, and the risk of further devices amid the carnage of the explosion was high.
Sapper Pavey immediately switched his focus to clearing a safe route to the survivors. Time was of the essence but he could not risk more devices being activated by letting everyone run to the minibus:
"I heard the explosion, and when I saw what had happened I just turned to start clearing towards the casualties. Your senses get heightened as obviously there is a lot going through your mind but you have to keep focused.
"You want to get there as fast as possible but you have to work safely rather than just quickly and risk further injuries."...
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