RAF chief dies after collapsing during triathlon

LONDON Thu May 27, 2010 7:59am BST

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LONDON (Reuters) - The second most senior officer in the Royal Air Force has died after collapsing during a triathlon, the Ministry of Defence said on Thursday.

Air Chief Marshal Christopher Moran had been taken ill when competing during the charity event on Wednesday at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. He was 54.

"A highly respected and courageous leader, this tragic loss comes as a huge blow to the Royal Air Force and, indeed, Defence at large," Stephen Dalton, Chief of Air Staff said in a statement.

"Most importantly, our prayers and thoughts are with his family, to whom I offer my most sincere condolences on behalf of the Royal Air Force, serving and retired."

Moran had served in the Falklands War and later led RAF and Royal Navy fast jet forces operating over Iraq and Afghanistan. He also served as a liaison officer to the Pentagon in the run-up to the U.S-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Moran leaves a wife, two daughters, who are at university, and a son who is at school.

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