Six killed as plane crash lands
Six people have died and six others were injured after a plane crashed in fog at Cork Airport in the Republic of Ireland.
The turbo prop aircraft with 10 passengers and two crew was travelling from George Best Belfast City Airport. It crash landed on a runway at Cork on the third attempt to land at 9.51am.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) said the plane, a 19-seat Fairchild Metroliner, was a Manx 2 service.
It is understood debris from the wreckage was scattered over a wide area. A spokesman said Cork Airport has been shut.
A casualty information bureau has been set up at the airport with staff operating a helpline on +353 (0) 21 4328 820. Aer Lingus cancelled four flights in and out of Cork after the accident while a number of others have been diverted to Shannon.
The Health Service Executive said four of the injured were in a serious condition and the other two injured were described as comfortable.
A spokesman for George Best Belfast City Airport said: "We can confirm that the Manx 2 aircraft was scheduled to leave Belfast City Airport en route to Cork, flight number NM 7100. It left here at 0812 this morning with 10 passengers and two crew on board. We understand there has been an incident at Cork airport involving this aircraft."
Fire crews and police from across the city and county were drafted in to support the rescue efforts. The main road leading to the airport was closed to give emergency services quick access.
Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson spoke of his shock over the crash. Mr Robinson said: "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."
Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness later revealed he had considered taking the ill-fated flight. Mr McGuinness said: "This is a route I have travelled on a number of occasions. In fact, I am going to be in Munster (on Friday) and I had contemplated travelling on this flight, but that changed due to other circumstances."