Six Die As Belfast Flight Crashes In Cork

A Manx-2 jet from George Best Belfast City Airport has crashed on landing in Cork in a tragedy that was reported just before 10am on Thursday.

There were ten passengers and two crew members on board the plane which was reported to have caught fire after the crash.

There were confused reports about how many have been killed or injured, but the police now says that six people are confirmed dead.

A Gardaí statement related: "Six people were killed in the crash and six injured were removed to Cork University Hospital.

"A casualty information bureau has been set up at the airport telephone number 021 432 8820," the statement said, concluding that a Press briefing will be held at Cork Airport at lunchtime.

The Republic's Aviation said that the aircraft made two attempts to land before crashing.

The plane - a Metroliner SW4 - Flight number NN 71001, was due to arrive in Cork at about 9.45am. There was heavy fog in the area at the time.

Just four people were seen walking away from the plane as a fleet of ambulances arrived at the scene with the airport runway cordoned off while a team from the Irish Department of Transport air accident unit travelled to the scene.

Witnesses reported hearing a loud bang before seeing the aircraft burst into flames with debris scattered onto the runway and over a wide area.

Gardaí, fire crews and ambulances from across the city and county responded and the police are appealing to people to stay away from the airport and for motorists to avoid the area.

A spokesperson for Cork University Hospital has since confirmed passengers injured in this morning's crash are being transferred to the hospital, but said no further information is yet available.

The Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said it's shattering news and he offered sympathy to the families of those affected.

A spokesman for George Best Belfast City Airport told UTV news this morning: "We can confirm that the Manx 2 aircraft was scheduled to leave Belfast City Airport en route to Cork, flight number NM 7100.

"It left at 0812 this morning with 10 passengers and two crew on board. We understand there has been an incident at Cork airport involving this aircraft."

Representatives of Manx2 are expected to arrive at Belfast City Airport shortly. It is understand a statement will be issued in relation to the incident.

The Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson has expressed his shock at the death of passengers on board a flight from Belfast to Cork on Thursday morning.

"This is a terrible tragedy and my thoughts are with the families of the bereaved. My thoughts are also with the injured and I hope that they will make a full and speedy recovery," he said.

Alliance's Naomi Long has also expressed her condolences to the families of those who died when a plane from Belfast City Airport crashed upon landing at Cork airport on Thursday morning.

The East Belfast MP said: "I am very saddened to hear of this tragedy. It is a very dark day for both Belfast and Cork.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who have been killed or injured, and I know that the whole community will be thinking of them at this difficult time, and would join with me in wishing those who have survived a full recovery."


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