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Sunday, October 3, 1999 Published at 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK


Snow survives plane crash

Veteran broadcaster Peter Snow and two of his colleagues from the BBC programme Tomorrow's World have survived an air crash in the United States.

The single-engine De Havilland Beaver seaplane clipped the top of trees and crash-landed on Bainbridge Island, 10 miles west of Seattle.

[ image: Peter Snow:
Peter Snow: "We were unbelievably lucky"
The plane, owned by Kenmore Air Harbour, came down at 2345 BST on Friday.

The 61-year-old former Newsnight presenter, who suffered minor cuts and bruises, said he was "unbelievably lucky" to have survived.

Mr Snow, famous for his statistical analysis and his "swingometer" during elections, was with a cameraman and a producer filming a clip about earthquakes for the next series of Tomorrow's World.

'Lucky escape'

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live from a Seattle hospital, he said: "I'm fine. I thought I would have an exciting life if I joined Tomorrow's World but I never expected an air crash."

He added: "We had an extraordinarily lucky escape. We were filming Tomorrow's World over an island just off Seattle, and we suddenly lost height.

"We were coming up over a hill and we obviously weren't high enough - we hit the tops of the trees and then that was it.

"The tail of the plane is 50ft up in a tree - we were unbelievably lucky to have come down in that particular part of the wood because the trees there were very, very tall but very young and supple and they somehow cradled the plane."

'Plane written off'

Mr Snow added: "But we ended up against a shocking big tree - mercifully we didn't hit it very hard, but the plane was a complete write off."

The cameraman, 44-year-old Michael Garner, filmed the entire crash sequence. The BBC is awaiting an inquiry from the Federal Aviation Authority before deciding whether to release the film.

Assistant producer Bronwen Ley, 36, suffered light concussion and was kept in hospital overnight for observation.

Peter Snow and Mr Garner both suffered cuts and bruises.

Soundman Mark Cardoza, 37, and the unnamed 43-year-old pilot, also survived.

A Tomorrow's World spokeswoman said: "We are obviously relieved that there were no serious injuries from the accident."

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