Northern Ireland

Shock and sadness after Cork plane crash

Pic: Vincent Foley
Image caption Eight fire crews rushed to the scene of the crash (Pic: Vincent Foley)

Public figures have expressed their shock after six people were killed and six others injured when a plane from Belfast crashed at Cork airport.

Flight FLT400C, a scheduled daily flight from Belfast to Cork, left George Best Belfast City Airport at 0812 GMT.

The Manx2 commuter flight with 10 passengers and two crew on board crashed on the runway on its third attempt to land shortly before 1000 GMT.

The plane overturned and burst into flames. The six injured are being treated at Cork University Hospital.

First Minister Peter Robinson said that authorities in Northern Ireland had offered logistical help to assist those who had loved ones involved.

"Our hearts go out to the families of all those who have been bereaved and those who are injured," he said.

The Irish prime minister Brian Cowen said his thoughts were with all of those affected by the crash, including the families and friends of those who 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," he said.

"I also want to commend the work of the various rescue crews and all of the emergency and support staff working to help those involved in the crash."

The taoiseach said he had been briefed by the minister for transport about the crash.

Secretary of State Owen Paterson said what had happened was "a terrible tragedy".

"I offer my profound condolences and sympathy to the families and friends of those killed and injured," he said.

Mr Paterson said the UK Ambassador in Dublin was on his way to Cork and would be working closely with the Irish authorities.

Shock and sadness

The Bishop of Cork, the Right Reverend Paul Colton has also spoken about the tragedy.

"All of us in Cork, and from throughout this region, are shocked and hugely saddened by the news of the crash at Cork Airport this morning," he said.

Ulster Unionist Leader Tom Elliott sent his deepest condolences to the families of the dead and injured.

"Like everyone else in Northern Ireland I was shocked to learn that a Belfast to Cork commuter flight crashed this morning, resulting in a number of fatalities and injuries," he said.

"This is a terrible tragedy and I would like to extend my sincerest condolences to the families of the dead and to wish a speedy recovery to the injured."

SDLP leader and South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said: "There is immense shock and grief on our island at this terrible tragedy and I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the families and friends of those who lost their lives."

Transport Minister Conor Murphy said his thoughts were with the families of those involved and offered his sympathies to everyone affected.

"It is with great sadness that I learn of this morning's plane crash, involving the flight from Belfast to Cork," he said.

"I have spoken to minister for transport in the south, Pat Carey TD, and offered the support of my department to help in whatever way we can.

"I continue to be updated on the situation as more details emerge and I intend to make a statement to the Executive on this when we meet later this afternoon."

Irish President Mary McAleese expressed her deep shock and sadness at the loss of life in the crash.

The president said her thoughts and prayers, and those of all the people of Ireland, were with the families of the deceased and with the survivors.

Alliance East Belfast MP Naomi Long said it was 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."

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Pat Convery, has said that his thoughts and prayers were 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".

Bishop John Buckley, Bishop of Cork and Ross and Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor, have called for prayers for those who were killed and injured.

"We express our deepest sympathies to the families of those who have lost their lives following the accident on the Belfast - Cork flight which crashed in Cork airport this morning," they said.

"Our hearts also go out to those who have been injured and to all who are affected by this terrible tragedy.

"The suddenness and scale of this loss of life is shocking. We ask people of faith, north and south, to pray for those who have died and for their loved ones. We will be offering Mass and our prayers for the deceased, the injured and their families."

Bishop Buckley was in the area at the time and went directly to the airport when he heard of the incident. The duty manager invited Bishop Buckley to meet the relatives who were waiting in arrivals at the airport. Bishop Buckley offered them his prayers.

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