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1989: Dozens die as plane crashes on motorway

VIDEO : Questions asked over Kegworth plane crash

A Boeing 737 airplane has crashed onto the M1 motorway near East Midlands airport, killing 46 people.

Eighty have survived, of whom ten are seriously injured.

The British Midland flight 092 was forced to crash land after both engines of the brand new aircraft failed.

It slammed into the motorway embankment at 2026 GMT, breaking into three pieces.

Motorists on the M1 had a lucky escape as there were no vehicles in the immediate vicinity at the moment of impact.


"Chance of double engine failure was a hundred million to one"

The flight to Belfast was forced to divert to East Midlands airport 10 minutes after leaving Heathrow, when one of the plane's two engines caught fire.

As the aircraft began its descent the remaining engine failed too.

Experts said later the chance of suffering such a double engine failure was a hundred million to one.

The plane passed very low over the village of Kegworth, Leicestershire, crashing just a few hundred metres from the safety of the runway, where emergency services were waiting.

The most severely injured were given medical attention immediately, while others were lifted from the twisted fuselage and taken to local hospitals.

Survivor Gareth Jones described the moment when the plane hit the ground.

He said: "There was a shudder, crash, like a massive motor car accident, crunch, blackness, and I was by the emergency hatch."

In Context

A report by the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch later found the flight crew had shut down the wrong engine.

The crew had responded "incorrectly" to a fractured fan blade in the No.1 engine, by shutting down the No.2 engine "which was running satisfactorily".

The report made several recommendations, calling for increased engine inspections and improvements to engine vibration indicators on Boeing 737s.


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