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Survivors and relatives of Cork air crash to sue

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The wreckage of the Manx2 plane in which six people where killed

The wreckage of the Manx2 plane in which six people where killed

The wreckage of the Manx2 commuter plane is removed from the runway at Cork Airport, which has now reopened

The wreckage of the Manx2 commuter plane is removed from the runway at Cork Airport, which has now reopened

The wreckage of the Manx2 plane in which six people where killed

Survivors and bereaved relatives of the Cork air crash are to file multi-million euro law suits this autumn, it has been revealed.

The lawsuits are expected to be filed by September or October following the formal publication of the air accident report into the tragedy.

Six people died and six others survived when the Manx2 airline flight crashed as it attempted to land at Cork Airport in thick fog in February last year.

The flight originated in Belfast and four of the dead were from Northern Ireland.

They were businessman Brendan McAleese, a cousin of former President Mary McAleese's husband Martin; Pat Cullinan, a partner at accountancy firm KPMG, from Omagh, Co Tyrone; Michael Evans, deputy Harbour Commissioner in Belfast, and businessman Richard Noble, also from Belfast.

The other two dead were the pilot Jordi Sola Lopez and co-pilot Andrew Cantle.

Survivors included mother-of-three Heather Elliott from Belfast, businessman Brendan Mallon (36) from Bangor, and Lawrence Wilson from Larne. It’s not clear if any of them are planning legal action.

The lawsuits will not be against so-called ‘cyber airline’ Manx2.

Manx2 — which is based in the Isle of Man — does not own its own aircraft and does not directly employ its own aircrew. Instead these are contracted in from other firms to operate scheduled services, with most low-cost bookings being taken over the internet.

However, legal cases are being brought against Spanish firms Air Lada and Flightline BCN from whom Manx2.com contracted the plane and aircrew.

While Flightline BCN — which is based in Spain — operated the flight on the day, the aircraft was owned by Air Lada.

Legal representatives of English woman Beth Webster, the partner of co-pilot Mr Cantle (27), confirmed that they are suing both companies through the High Court.

It is understood that a number of families who lost loved ones in the crash — and several of the passengers who survived with serious injuries — are also to press ahead with legal action in Ireland.

The actions — in the case of those who died — are underpinned by the fact that many left young families and dependents.

Ms Webster's case is being handled by UK firm Irwin Mitchell, who have retained Dublin law firm Murray Flynn Maguire.

Her legal team has maintained a position that the accident was wholly preventable.

Another survivor, father-of-three Mark Dickens (40), has also indicated that he is taking legal action. It is expected that the action will also be taken in the Irish courts.

Manx2 has declined to comment on the matter until the full Air Accident Investigation Unit report is released.

Background

Six people died in the Cork air crash. The plane crashed on its third attempt to land.

The final crash report is not expected until the autumn — and inspectors have warned that no overriding cause for the tragedy has yet been specified. A key factor will be an assessment of why the pilot attempted a third landing in fog instead of diverting to another airport.

Belfast Telegraph