11/02/2011

Victims Of Cork Disaster Named

All those killed in yesterday's fatal plane crash in Cork have now been identified.

A cousin of the President of the Irish Republic, Mary McAleese's husband was among the six people confirmed dead in Thursday's airplane crash in Cork.

Brendan McAleese, 39, was the Managing Director of Central Laundries in Cookstown, Co Tyrone and was heading to Cork for a business meeting. The married father-of-two lived in Tanaghmore, near Antrim.

"I am especially conscious of the pain being experienced by all of the bereaved, as one of the deceased was Brendan McAleese - my husband Martin's cousin," President McAleese said last night."

President McAleese added: "To the survivors also, we send our heartfelt wishes for a quick and full recovery from the immense trauma they have experienced today.

"Their survival was greatly assisted by the prompt actions of the emergency personnel, both at Cork Airport (pictured) and Cork University Hospital - whose vital and timely intervention today is to be highly commended."

A total of ten passengers and two flight crew were on board the Manx2 turbo prop aircraft, flight number NM 7100, travelling from Belfast. It crash-landed just before 10am on Thursday in foggy conditions.

Among the fatalities was Omagh native Pat Cullinan - who was a partner in accountancy firm KPMG.

Belfast Deputy Harbour Master, Captain Michael Evans, who is originally from England, has also been confirmed dead. Capt Evans had a key role supervising shipping traffic in and out of Belfast port.
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Richard Noble from Derbyshire in England - but who had been living in Northern Ireland for several years with his wife who is originally from Bristol - was aged in his early 40s and the Spanish pilot of the aircraft, Jordi Lopez, and the English co-pilot, Andrew Cantle, also died in the crash.

The five men and one woman who were injured spent the night at Cork University Hospital.

Meanwhile as it was revealed that Cork Airport will remain closed until at least this afternoon, the Cockpit Voice Recorder and Flight Data Recorder have been located and removed from the scene. They will be taken to Dublin where specialist equipment will be used to download the material in them.

The investigation into the cause of the crash will involve experts from Ireland, Britain, Spain and the US.

The National Transportation Safety Board in the US has confirmed that it is sending three investigators to assist in the investigation.

The Chairman of Manx2 Noel Hayes has expressed his condolences to those affected by the crash.

In Belfast, he said his company was totally committed to finding out what went wrong. Mr Hayes said safety has always been a prime concern for the company.

Mr Hayes said he has no reason to believe the aircraft would not have enough fuel to divert to Knock or Shannon and that the crew "was not under pressure to return to Belfast".

See: London, Belfast, Dublin And Cork United In Sympathy Over Fatal Air Crash

(BMcC/GK)

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