Investigations into the Cork airport crash under way

Feb 11 2011

_51197470_newpic.jpgInvestigations are under way into the crash that killed six people at Cork Airport on Thursday morning.

The wreckage of the Manx2 plane remains at Cork on Friday morning as air accident investigators try to find out precisely what went wrong.

Two flight recorders have already been removed from the scene.

The plane, which was travelling from Belfast, came down in thick fog and burst into flames. Six people died and six were injured.

Air accident investigator with the Irish Department of Transport, Paddy Judge, said they hoped to reconstruct the events surrounding the plane crash by accessing information from the aircraft's black box.

The flight was scheduled to depart Belfast at 0750 GMT and eventually left at 0812 GMT. It was due to land in Cork at 0910 GMT.

The plane first attempted to land from a southerly direction on Cork's main runway, known as Runway 17. This was aborted due to low visibility.

It then tried to land on the opposite, northerly, approach to the main runway - known as Runway 35. The Aviation Authority says it is believed wind was not a problem, but the pilot was still unhappy with visibility.

The plane went into a holding position for 20 minutes, before making a third attempt to land on the southerly approach to the main runway.

At 0940 GMT, the plane was 10 miles out from the airport. At 0950 GMT, the plane hit the ground at what is called the 'western threshold' of the runway. Eye witnesses reported hearing a loud bang.

It is understood the plane flipped over on landing and caught fire.

The names of three people killed in the accident were released on Friday

Brendan McAleese, a cousin of Irish president, Mary McAleese's husband, was killed in the crash.

Pat Cullinan, originally from Omagh, County Tyrone, and a partner in accountancy firm KPMG in Belfast. A third victim, Captain Michael Evans, was a deputy harbour commissioner in Belfast.

_51197405_evans.jpgIrish, British and Spanish passport-holders were on board the aircraft which was flying between the two cities as part of a scheduled daily service. All their families have been informed.

The identity of the three other passengers killed is likely to be released by Irish police on Friday.

The six injured are being treated at Cork University Hospital.

Dr Gerry McCarthy, head of emergency medicine at Cork University Hospital, said two people are in intensive care with chest, abdomenal and spinal injuries.

Two people remain in a serious condition, while the other two are described as doing "well".

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