15 Mar 2012

Truck crashes on runway as US defence secretary arrives

8:27 am on 15 March 2012

A stolen truck driven at high speed onto the runway at the main British military base in Afghanistan as the US defence secretary was arriving has crashed into a ditch injuring no one except the driver.

The incident took place as Leon Panetta flying in to Camp Bastion, in Helmand province, the BBC reports.

A NATO spokesperson says at no point was Mr Panetta or anyone on board his plane at risk.

The driver of the vehicle - an Afghan civilian employed at the base - was badly burned and is being treated in hospital.

A spokesman travelling with the defence secretary said Mr Panetta's plane was diverted after it landed and before it was parked.

Mr Panetta, who was in Helmand to address US troops, has since left for the capital, Kabul.