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Plane transporting donor organ crashes

A PLANE carrying a life-saving donor organ, crashed and burst into flames at Birmingham Airport last week.

A PLANE carrying a life-saving donor organ, crashed and burst into flames at Birmingham Airport last week.

The light aircraft was approaching the airport on Friday afternoon, when it struck an antenna and came down next to the runway.

An air ambulance pilot bravely climbed inside the burning wreckage and cut the fuel supply.

He then helped to free the 58-year-old pilot, who was airlifted to hospital with multiple injuries - his condition is stable.

A second man, in his 30s, suffered “flash burns” in the crash and was taken to Heartlands Hospital for treatment.

The ice-box, with the transplant liver inside, was saved from the flames and rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital by a police motorcyclist.

Though the box was charred and still covered in fire extinguisher foam, the organ itself was in a perfect condition.

An operation took place later that evening and surgeon Simon Bramhall said that without the transplant, the patient would have died.

The Cessna Citation jet, flying in from Belfast, had struck the antenna while navigating heavy fog.

Eyewitness Dennis Gough told the BBC he saw the aircraft pass overhead at just after 3.30pm.

“Once it hit the runway there were sort of flames alongside the runway then it broke into a big fireball,” he said.

Mick Birch, from West Midlands Fire Service, said that 30 firefighters helped put out the flames.

By chance the aircraft had smashed to the ground next to the airport’s fire station.

In the wake of the crash, the airport was shut - causing major disruption for thousands of air passengers.

Around 40 aircraft were ready to take off or land at the time of the incident and the runway didn’t re-open until Saturday.

West Midlands Police said that an investigation into the cause of the crash would be carried out in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Authority

 

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