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East Midlands Airport shut down after cargo jet's landing gear fails

Hundreds of passengers hit by cancellations as airport closes for investigation

East Midlands Airport has been shut down after the landing gear of a massive cargo plane snapped after landing this morning.

All flights in and out have been suspended while investigators probe the cause of the accident, which occurred as the Boeing 737-400 was leaving the runway at about 2.30am after a flight from Paris.

Two crew members were aboard the plane, operated by Irish-based freight company Air Contractors, but neither were injured.

The jet remained on the tarmac at the airport, which is in Leicestershire, as preliminary investigations were compleed.

It is estimated that more than 2,000 passengers are being affected by the cancellations today. Some were forced to take buses to Manchester airport in the hope of catching an alternative flight, and officials do not know when the airport will re-open.

A statement on the company’s website read: "The left-hand landing gear of the aircraft suffered a failure after the aircraft had successfully landed and whilst slowing for taxi off the runway.

"The runway remains closed whilst technical examinations take place, but the aircraft will be removed as soon as possible."

A joint investigation by the UK Air Accident Investigation Brand (AAIB) and the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) is currently taking place.

Air Contractors operate freight services to Europe on behalf of FedEx, Feeder and DHL Express.

East Midlands airport services around four million passengers a year, and handles 300,000 tonnes of freight.