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Last Updated: Monday, 22 August 2005, 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK
Memorial marks 1985 air disaster
Manchester air disaster scene 1985
Fifty-five people died in the tragedy
Survivors of the 1985 air disaster at Manchester Airport have attended a memorial service.

A roll call was read out of the 55 people who lost their lives when a British Airtours flight to Corfu burst into flames during takeoff.

There were 131 passengers and six crew on board when the engine of the Boeing 737 plane caught fire.

The service, at Manchester Airport, was attended by 150 people and led by airport chaplain Rev Mike Vincer.

Cabin fire

The private service was also attended by airport staff and emergency service workers who helped at the scene, former British Airways chairman Lord Marshall and Manchester Airport chief executive Geoff Muirhead.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said: "You could not get a Manchester situation again.

"A fire inside the cabin would not have the same impact now."

Many safety improvements were introduced after the 22 August accident, including adding fire-blocking seat covers and more fire extinguishers to planes.

Tree planted

Among those who died in the disaster was Sheffield student Sarah Beckett, 18, who was travelling to Greece to take up a holiday job as a nanny.

Her father, William, read a lesson at Monday's service.

He said: "One good thing that has come out of the accident is that authorities are now far more accountable than they were.

"Losing Sarah left such a void in all our lives. You learn to cope with the grief but you cannot fill that void."

After the memorial service a tree was planted at Stanley Forest - an open area close to the site of the tragedy.


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SEE ALSO:
Air disasters timeline
17 Aug 05 |  Europe
First flight for crash survivor
22 Jun 04 |  Manchester


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