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Manchester air disaster remembered

A memorial is to take place to mark the 25th anniversary of the Manchester air disaster.

Fifty-five people died when a Corfu-bound British Airtours Boeing 737 caught fire as it was speeding down the runway on August 22, 1985.

Family and friends of those killed as well as passengers who survived are attending a private ceremony at the airport later.

The plane was travelling at 140mph when the port engine exploded and fire spread to the main body of the plane.

The captain managed to abort take-off and turn off the runway towards the fire station, but the change of direction meant flames spread to the rear of the aircraft.

There were 131 passengers and six crew on board when the fire broke out. Two crew members and 53 passengers died, most from smoke inhalation.

The disaster led to many safety improvements, including adding fire-blocking seat covers and more fire extinguishers on planes.

Steps were also taken to make it easier for passengers to evacuate in the event of an incident.


From Belfast Telegraph