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Stansted Airport collision delays Irish 'Home to Vote' passengers

Stansted Airport Image copyright PA
Image caption A spokesman for Stansted Airport said no injuries were reported from either aircraft

A Ryanair plane carrying Irish voters home for the country's abortion referendum was hit by another plane at Stansted Airport.

The Dublin-bound aircraft was stationary when a Primera Air flight to Malaga "scraped" its tail while taxiing behind it at about 09:15 BST.

Stansted Airport said no injuries were reported from either aircraft.

In a statement Ryanair said passengers would be transferred to a replacement aircraft to minimise delay.

Dozens of passengers onboard the Ryanair flight were flying home to vote in the referendum on the Republic of Ireland's abortion laws.

Polls opened at 07:00 local time and votes can be cast until 22:00 on Friday.

The vote will decide whether to repeal a part of the constitution, known as the Eighth Amendment, which effectively bans terminations in the country.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Abortion is currently only allowed in Ireland when a woman's life is at risk - not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality

The mood among passengers on the Ryanair flight "remained calm, even jovial", according to staff from The Independent who were also on the plane.

Ryanair said in a statement: "One of our aircraft was stationary at the designated holding point on the taxiway at London Stansted Airport this morning when the winglet of a Primera Air aircraft taxiing behind scraped its tail stabiliser.

"Both aircraft were under the instruction of London Stansted Air Traffic Control at the time.

"The Ryanair aircraft returned to stand to be inspected by Ryanair engineers."

The company said shortly before 13:00 BST the passengers had been put on a replacement plane which had left for Dublin.

A spokesman from Stansted Airport said: "As a precaution, airfield operations were briefly suspended, but all flights have now resumed."

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