London, Belfast, Dublin And Cork Unite In Sympathy Over Crash

Messages of sympathy for the families of those killed and injured after a Manx2 commuter flight with 10 passengers and two crew on board crashed on the runway at Cork this morning have continued to flood in.

Six people died and six others were injured after the plane - travelling from Belfast - crashed in fog at Cork with the plane overturning and bursting into flames.

The six injured are being treated at Cork University Hospital.

Four are described as being in a serious - but comfortable - condition. Two are comfortable.

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 northerly approach to the main runway, known as Runway 35.

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

At 9.42am, the plane was ten miles out from the airport. Minutes later, the plane hit the ground at what is called the 'western threshold' of the runway. Eye witnesses reported hearing a loud bang.

The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Pat Convery, has said that his thoughts and prayers are with those who were on board the flight and their families.

"On behalf of the citizens of Belfast I extend my heartfelt sympathy to those families bereaved by this tragedy," he said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with them as well as those who are being treated for their injuries in hospital".

Commenting, NI Secretary of State Owen Paterson said: "This is a terrible tragedy. I offer my profound condolences and sympathy to the families and friends of those killed and injured."

He also said that the British Ambassador in Dublin was on his way to Cork: "He will be working closely with the Irish authorities," said the MP, who noted that a special phone line has been opened by the British Embassy in Dublin: 00353 1 205 3780

The Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen said this morning: "My thoughts are with all of those affected by this morning' s crash, including the families and friends of those who have died.

"I also want to send my best wishes and those of the Government, to all of those who survived the crash and are being treated in hospital at present."

President Mary McAleese expressed her deep shock and sadness on learning of the loss of life in this morning's aircraft crash.

The Belfast-born Irish President said: "Her thoughts and prayers, and those of all the people of Ireland, are with the families of the deceased and the survivors."

In Belfast, 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.

The Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness said the crash was a shocking and deeply saddening event.

He said that he had flown on the flight before and told RTE that he contemplated taking the same service from Belfast to Cork later this week.

Meanwhile, 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 MP - who represents East Belfast where the Belfast airport is located - 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."

In London, the DUP Deputy leader Nigel Dodds has raised the tragic events at Cork Airport this morning in the House of Commons.

Mr Dodds asked all the MPs to join him in passing on their thoughts to those involved.

Speaking from Westminster the North Belfast MP said: "I am grateful that the entire House of Commons joined with me today in sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of those who have tragically lost their lives at Cork Airport today.

"We also wish those who have been injured a speedy and full recovery."

The Irish Republic's Minister for Transport Pat Carey described this morning's crash as a "horrific tragedy" and said he was notified about the crash early this morning and that the emergency plan was activated immediately.

He said the air accident investigation unit is on its way by car because of the flying conditions and the investigation will begin as soon as the team arrives.

Mr Carey extended sympathy on his own behalf and on behalf of the Government to the families of the deceased and he said he hoped those injured would return to full health.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said it is shattering news and he offered sympathy to the families of those affected. Mr Martin announced that he is cancelling his election canvassing today.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said his prayers and the prayers of the country are with those who had lost their lives.

The Fine Gael morning news conference stood for a minute's silence as a mark of respect to the victims.

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said he was saddened by the deaths and called for an full and comprehensive inquiry while the Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said his thoughts are with those affected and he said the crash puts the rest of 'what we are all about' in context.

The Green Party Chairman Dan Boyle said the news of the crash has come as a "dreadful blow to everyone in the Cork area and across the country".

The President of the Cork Chamber of Commerce Gerry O'Mahony said the county's business community is in a state of shock and the Bishop of Cork and Ross, John Buckley has sympathised with the families of those killed and injured.

Dr Buckley has been speaking to relatives of some of those killed and injured in the crash.

Manx Statement

Flight No FLT400C, a scheduled daily flight from Belfast to Cork, left George Best Belfast City Airport at 0812 GMT.

Shortly after the crash, Manx2 said: "The aircraft was carrying ten passengers and two crew members - a captain and a co-pilot. The aircraft involved was a Metro Liner leased from Flightline BCN in Spain.

"The aircraft left Belfast City Airport at 7.50am this morning and was due to land in Cork at 9am.

Due to weather conditions at Cork Airport the aircraft tried to land twice and the incident took place on its third approach.

"We are working with all relevant authorities to establish what happened," the statement said, noting that they "would like to express our sincere sympathies to the families of those who lost their lives in this tragic accident".

Manx2.com has been operating for the past five years, with its headquarters in Douglas in the Isle of Man.


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