Teesside Airport has been forced to temporarily close its runway after an ‘incident’ involving a light aircraft left three people in hospital.
A pilot and two passengers onboard the plane needed emergency care after it is believed the aircraft had issues during takeoff.
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Rob Cherrie, general manager at County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, was incident commander at the scene and said that the light aircraft “had taken off then come back down again very quickly”, although it is unclear why that occurred.
He added that fire crews had been forced to cut the three people out of the plane and other passengers were waiting at the airport to board flights at the time of the crash.
Mr Cherrie said: “I wouldn’t say it’s the busiest airport but there were passengers present – by the time we went on to the runway it was closed and flights had been diverted up to Newcastle etc.”
What has the airport said?
The airport said in a statement that the incident occurred at 9.39am on Saturday (25 September) and left the three people on board injured.
Flights have been cancelled as the runway will now remain closed “until further notice” while an investigation is carried out.
The airport said: “We can confirm an incident occurred today involving a light aircraft at 9.39am.
“A pilot and two passengers were onboard and have been taken to hospital.
“Our runway will remain closed until further notice while a thorough investigation is carried out.
“We would like to thank the emergency services (and) on-site staff for their quick response.”
In a message issued to passengers due to travel on outbound Ryanair flights, it said that arrangements had been made for passengers to be taken via coach to Newcastle Airport where the flight will depart.
The airport added: “Please note, you must check-in for your flight at Teesside.
“We’d like to thank you for your patience and cooperation.”
Fire services attended the scene
Two fire engines attended the scene this morning, a spokeswoman for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said.
The airport’s own fire and rescue unit had also been part of the emergency response, and it has been confirmed there were three casualties.
The North Eastern Ambulance Service (NEAS) said one of the three casualties had suffered serious injuries.
NEAS said in a statement: “We were called at 9.35am to reports of a light aircraft crashing at Durham Tees Valley Airport.
“We sent two ambulances, a specialist paramedic, an officer and requested support from the Great North Air Ambulance.
“In total, three patients were taken to James Cook hospital, one with serious injuries. One patient was taken by air and the two other patients were transported by road.”
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen thanked the emergency services for their speedy response and said his thoughts are with the families affected.
In a tweet, he wrote: “Thoughts and prayers are with the three people onboard at the time of the incident and their families.
“At this time I want to thank the incredible response by the airport fire service and the immediate response of local emergency services to the incident.”
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