Page last updated at 18:53 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 19:53 UK

RAF Tornado jet overshoots runway

Tornado crash landing at Newcastle Airport
The Tornado is being made safe by firefighters at the airport

An RAF jet made an emergency landing at Newcastle Airport after colliding with a bird.

The Tornado, from RAF Marham in Norfolk, was diverted to the airport, where it landed at about 1700 BST and overshot the end of the runway.

An MoD spokesman said the two crew were not seriously injured and an inquiry into the incident would be held.

The airport's runway has partially re-opened, but will not be fully operational until the jet is recovered.

Some flights are operating as usual but others are subject to delays.

Another RAF Tornado, flying close to the first aircraft, also suffered a birdstrike and requested permission to make an emergency landing at Durham Tees Valley airport.

We regret the inconvenience caused by the closure of Newcastle Airport's runway. An inquiry will be held
MOD spokesman

But it went on to land safely at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire.

Two people have been taken to hospital with minor injuries following the Newcastle incident, according to Northumbria Police.

The aircraft was not carrying any explosive material, said a force spokesman.

One eyewitness, who had just arrived at the airport from Heathrow, described seeing "all hell break loose" as emergency vehicles raced to the scene.

Minor injuries

He said the jet came to rest on grass at the end of the runway and did not appear to be seriously damaged.

An airport spokeswoman said it was unclear if the earlier birdstrike affected the plane's ability to stop.

Dinnington Road, near the end of the runway, was temporarily closed because of its proximity to the scene, she added.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "A Tornado GR4 from 13 Squadron RAF Marham made an emergency landing at Newcastle Airport this afternoon.

"We regret the inconvenience caused by the closure of Newcastle Airport's runway. An inquiry will be held."

The crew are likely to have suffered no more than cuts and bruises, he added.




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