A Lincolnshire scientist who lost three fingers and suffered permanent damage to his eyesight has been awarded a six figure payout from the Ministry of Defence.
Lee Peters, 51, and from Wrangle, was maimed when a suspicious package deemed to be safe by military experts exploded as he carried out forensic testing of it in a lab in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
The booby trap had the potential to have “blown my head clean off”, in Peters’ words, and instead saw his index, third and ring finger down to the knuckle ripped off his hand.
He said: “As soon as I heard the bang that day, I was under no illusion as to what I was facing.
“It was like being in a movie – everything went in slow motion. I knew my fingers were blown clean off but I could barely see.
“I thought if I fainted in there, I would die because there was so much blood.
“It was like someone had put a cloth sack over my head in the dead of night – that’s how impaired my vision was.”
The father-of-two, who has since retired on medical grounds, has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since the blast.
His lawyer Tracey Benson said it was a “shocking case”.
She said: “My client should never have come into contact with this item and we hope that this case will make sure a similar, avoidable incident won’t blight any other professional’s life.”
An MoD spokesman said: “We cannot comment on individual cases, but all claims are carefully considered and where the Ministry of Defence has a legal liability to pay compensation we do so.”