Northern Ireland

People from Northern Ireland and Republic hurt in Florida plane crash

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Media captionThe plane crash landed in Vinoy Park in St Petersburg, Florida (ABC News report).

Three people from Northern Ireland and one from the Republic have been hurt in a Florida plane crash on Monday.

Two men, pilot Grant Jordan and Al Ryan, both in their 50s, are in a serious but stable condition in hospital after the light aircraft crashed in Vinoy Park, St Petersburg.

A 17-year-old girl and another man had minor injuries, according to the St Petersburg Police Department.

The group from the Ulster Flying Club were on a trip to the US.

They were flying to Key West in a hired Piper PA28 Cherokee plane.

The plane reportedly lost power on approach to an airport. It is thought the engine failed and the undercarriage clipped a tree, according to John Hughes, the chairman of Ulster Flying Club.

The pilot's wife, Susan Clarke from County Down, is preparing to fly to the US. She told the BBC she had spoken to her husband on the phone and his injuries were not life-threatening.

Ms Clarke said Mr Jordan had several broken bones, none of which required surgery.

Chairman of Ulster Flying Club, John Hughes had been in contact with all four following the crash.

"Allegedly what happened is the engine stopped on the approach over the town and he [Mr Jordan] did an excellent job and got the aircraft into a small park just on the line of the approach to the main airfield," he said.

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Media captionThe group from the Ulster Flying Club were on a trip to the US

"He appears to have done an excellent job, but on the last part of the approach into the field from the witness statements that I've heard, the aircraft clipped a couple of trees which upset his final attempt to get into this park, but he still got in.

"The aircraft was substantially in one piece which explains why one of the passengers was able to walk away.

"They've been lucky in that if this had happened and they hadn't had the competence to do it [land] then things could have turned out worse."

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