Six dead in plane crash at Ireland airport
A commuter plane crashed and burst into flames as it tried to land at Cork airport in South Ireland.
Dublin: A commuter plane crashed and burst into flames as it tried to land at Cork airport in southern Ireland on Thursday, killing six people and injuring another six, officials said.
The accident happened as the turboprop aircraft travelling from Belfast City Airport in Northern Ireland with 12 people on board made its third attempt to touch down in fog.
"I can confirm that we have six fatalities and six people are in hospital," Cork County Council spokesman Tom O`Sullivan said. Police gave the same toll.
After the crash the white and blue aircraft operated by Manx2 airlines was left lying upside down on its roof, with its front end almost completely destroyed, photographs taken by witnesses showed.
Dozens of rescue workers and emergency vehicles surrounded the plane.
The Fairchild Metroliner SW4 aircraft was carrying 10 passengers and two crew when it crashed in conditions of poor visibility, the Irish Aviation Authority said.
The pilots had tried to land on two different runways without success but the plane crashed next to a taxiway while making a third attempt, it said in a statement.
"There is a fire and debris has been scattered onto the runway and over a wide area," the statement said.
Cork Airport said it was closed until further notice and flights had been diverted to other Irish airports.
"An incoming Manx2 aircraft crashed on the airfield on approach to landing shortly before 10:00 am. Fire crews are on the scene and Cork Airport’s emergency plan has been activated," it said.
O`Sullivan later said the fire had been extinguished and that the area had been declared a crime scene while the crash was investigated.
Irish Transport Minister Pat Carey conveyed the sympathy of the government to the families of the victims and said he had already spoken to the head of the air accident investigations unit, who were on their way to Cork.
Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said he was shocked by the crash.
"This is a terrible tragedy and my thoughts are with the families of the bereaved," he said.