Page last updated at 12:42 GMT, Friday, 18 January 2008

Plane duo describe crash-landing

Crashed plane
Passengers described oxygen masks and panelling falling down

A man and woman on an aeroplane which crash-landed short of an airport runway said there was some panic on board.

Chloe Richards, 24, and Ian Newborn, 27, both from Coventry, were travelling together on the British Airways plane which crash-landed at Heathrow.

Ms Richards said some people "jumped straight out of their seats and ran to the exits" when the plane came to a "sharp stop" after landing on Thursday.

All 152 people on board survived the incident which is being investigated.

Eighteen people needed treatment for minor injuries, including whiplash.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is examining the "black box" flight data recorder to try to find out why the plane crash-landed at the London airport.

We thought it had just been a bumpy landing until the oxygen masks and parts of panelling came down
Chloe Richards

Speaking shortly after the incident, Ms Richards said the landing felt different to normal because the plane came to a "very sudden stop" instead of coming in quite slowly.

She said "everybody jolted forwards" and some people ran to the exits and were told to sit down by air crew.

However, she added that she and Mr Newborn were unaware there had been an accident.

"The plane came down quite quickly and it was quite bumpy but we didn't realise it had crashed until the oxygen masks came down," she said.

'Bumpy landing'

She said there had been "no announcement" and they did not realise the plane had landed on grass, near a busy perimeter road.

"It felt like it had gone slightly side wards but it didn't particularly feel like a crash," she said.

"We thought it had just been a bumpy landing until the oxygen masks and parts of panelling came down off the plane."

Mr Newborn added that he was concerned about leaving some belongings, including personal details, on the plane.

"I'm a little bit worried that my life is still on that plane," he said. "Hopefully I'll get it back in the next couple of days."

Ms Richards added: "I'm just keen to get home. I feel a bit cold."

Captain Peter Burkill has been praised for his professionalism after all 136 passengers and 16 crew, on the flight from Beijing, survived the incident.

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