Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Winter Hill disaster: Air crash victims remembered

Wreckage of the plane on Winter Hill
Image caption Just seven people survived the accident on 27 February 1958

A memorial service to commemorate the 35 people who died in the Winter Hill air disaster almost 60 years ago has been held in the Isle of Man.

Only seven of the 42 people on board survived when their plane crashed in thick fog on 27 February 1958.

Most of the victims were mechanics, engineers and motor traders from the Isle of Man who were on a trip to visit Manchester's Exide battery factory.

The tragedy came just three weeks after the Munich air disaster.

Image copyright Other
Image caption Most of the victims were mechanics, engineers and motor traders from the Isle of Man

The car trade delegates - mostly young men with families - were on a day trip to a new battery factory in Clifton, Salford, when the Bristol 170 Freighter they were travelling in hit bad weather.

After a key navigational error, the Manx Airlines flight smashed into the north-east slope of the hill above Horwich in Bolton.

A service, organised by the Rotary Club of Douglas, was held this morning at the Winter Hill Memorial in St John's.

A spokesman said it was an opportunity to "remember those who lost their lives and their loved ones."

Howard Callow, who lost his father in the tragedy, said despite being four on the day that he remembers it "vividly".

Horwich Rotary Club members were among the first on the scene and were heavily involved in rescue attempts digging through 6ft (2m) snowdrifts to reach the injured.

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