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The Little dutch boy of EOD


Ordnance approved

Bomb hero puts finger in trigger
in Kabul

Published: Today

AN Army bomb disposal hero escaped being blown to bits by a landmine — by quickly jamming his fingers into a CLOTHES PEG.

The crude wooden peg had been used as a makeshift trigger to set off the deadly device.

Two electrical contacts were fixed to the gripping parts of the peg — which were held open by rubber wrapped around the opposite end.

Warrant Officer Gary O’Donnell was crouched over the bomb in Afghanistan’s Helmand province when he suddenly noticed the rubber slipping — and the peg began to snap shut.


He was just a split second from death as the contact points moved closer together — and he thrust his fingers between them.

Dad-of-four Gary, 39, had to reach for a pair of snippers with his other hand — and cut the wiring circuit to make the bomb safe.

Gary, of Edinburgh said: “If I hadn’t done it, if it had shut, I wouldn’t be here.”

A team from the Royal Logistics Corps’ elite bomb disposal unit had raced to the scene after soldiers from 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment discovered the landmine buried in a track in the desert, close to their camp in Kajaki.

Gary — who won the George Medal in Iraq for similar work — began brushing the earth away to take a closer look.

He said: “I saw the ends of the peg moving. I didn’t have time to think. I had to act straightaway. I just jammed my fingers in.”

The peg was wired to an 82mm mortar and a 107mm Chinese rocket. Between them they have 2kg of explosives.

The blast would almost certainly have killed a soldier on patrol if he had stepped on it. At the very least it would have ripped off a leg.

The first thing that went through Gary’s mind as he sat with his fingers trapped in the bomb was: “You b******s.”

Gary — one of only two experts with his level of expertise in Helmand — added: “I had to make an assessment that there wasn’t a secondary circuit. Then there was no other option but to cut the wires manually.”

Gary has dealt with 22 bombs in less than five weeks. In one day he had to defuse eight Taliban landmines.

So far soldiers of the 11th EOD Regiment have dealt with more than 80 incidents, an average of more than one a day, since they arrived.

Of the 21 British soldiers killed in Afghanistan this year 16 died by setting off bombs hidden in their path.

Thats Courage and quick thinking for you , he deserves a bar to the medal for that