Heathrow Bombing: Flights in the danger zone

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The Independent Online
TWENTY-FIVE flights took off from the northern Heathrow runway while mortar bombs lay unexploded next to it, writes Christian Wolmar.

The runway was later closed on orders from the police. About 2,500 people are likely to have travelled on those flights.

Full details of the flights which took off between the attack at 17.57pm and 18.40pm on Wednesday were not released by BAA, which runs the airport, but 16 of them have been identified. They include 10 British Airways flights and two from British Midland. However, none of the airlines was critical of the police for delaying the closure of the runway for nearly three-quarters of an hour after the attack.

A spokesman for British Airways said that at that time the relevant flights would have had around 100 people each on board.

He said: 'Of course we are concerned about the incident but questions about overall security should be addressed to the police or Heathrow airport.' Another BA flight, the BA808 to Copenhagen, departed just before the bombs were fired at 17.55pm.

CONFIRMED FLIGHTS which used the runway between 5.57pm and 6.40pm:

American Airlines AA107, Boeing 767 to New York; British Midland BD313 Boeing 737 to Amsterdam; BD183 Boeing 737 to Paris; British Midland flight to Amsterdam; British Airways BA782 Boeing 737 to Stockholm; BA4822 Boeing 757 to Edinburgh; BA798 Boeing 737 to Helsinki; BA402 Boeing 757 to Brussels; BA706 Boeing 757 to Vienna; BA570 Boeing 757 to Milan; BA4962 Boeing 767 to Glasgow; BA4140 Boeing 737 to Newcastle; BA352 Airbus 320 to Nice; BA980 Boeing 737 to Hanover; Air France AF817 Airbus 300 to Paris; Alitalia AZ1293 DC 9 to Turin.