Airport closed after light aircraft crash

Birmingham Airport remained closed tonight after two people were hurt in an incident involving a light aircraft carrying a organ for transplant.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing smoke coming from the Cessna plane, which is thought to have crashed as it landed at the end of the runway at 3.35pm.





In a second statement, a spokesman for the airport said: "There were two people on board, both males.



"One male is critical and was airlifted to a local hospital. The second male is suffering back pain and flash burns and has been transferred to a local hospital by road."



The airport is not likely to reopen before at least 8pm tonight, the spokesman said.



The incident caused widespread disruption to travellers, halting all flights and prompting gridlock on roads surrounding the airport.



A Birmingham Airport spokesman said: "We can confirm that an incident has occurred involving a private Cessna aircraft.



"The incident occurred on arrival into the airport and the emergency services are in attendance. The airport is currently closed."



The airport spokesman added: "If you are due to travel to the airport this evening, please contact your airline for further guidance and do not come to the airport at this time."



One eyewitness said she saw smoke coming from the plane.



Lorraine Parker, who was stranded on a jet at the airport, told Sky News: "I just know that the airport is closed because of this incident - no planes can take off at the moment."



A spokeswoman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said she believed two patients were being taken to hospital following the incident.



Meanwhile, West Midlands Police advised drivers to avoid the main A45 Birmingham-to-Coventry route as it passes the airport.



A police spokesman said: "Due to the ongoing incident, the A45 near to Birmingham Airport is closed and traffic is currently extremely busy in the area.



"Commuters are advised to avoid the area if possible."





A man was airlifted to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire by the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.



A WNAA spokeswoman said the Cessna plane came off the end of the runway and caught fire.



Two casualties were trapped and emergency services were at the scene, she said.





The plane that crashed was carrying an organ for transplant, police said tonight.



West Midlands Police said the donor organ was safely transported with a police escort to the hospital it was destined for.



The two occupants of the Cessna aircraft were rescued from the scene by emergency services.



A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: "On arrival at the scene crews found two patients who had become injured whilst travelling on board a private aircraft.



"One patient, a man believed to be in his 50s, was seriously injured. He was treated at the scene for multiple injuries and airlifted to University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire for further assessment and treatment.



"A second man was treated at the scene for flash burns to his body and a back injury. The man, believed to be in his 30s, was immobilised using a spinal board and neck collar before being conveyed via land ambulance to Heartlands Hospital."



Two ambulances, a rapid response vehicle, three senior paramedic officers, the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), a Tactical Advisor and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance attended, the spokeswoman added.



An Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) spokesperson said: "The Air Accident Investigation Branch was notified of an accident to a Cessna Citation aircraft that occurred at Birmingham International Airport at approximately 1554 hours local time.



"The AAIB has deployed a team of inspectors to conduct an investigation. A report will be published in due course, and at this stage it is not possible to speculate on the cause of the accident."



A spokeswoman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said two ambulances, a rapid response vehicle, three senior paramedic officers, the Hazardous Area Response Team (Hart), a tactical adviser and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance were dispatched to the scene.



The spokeswoman said: "On arrival at the scene, crews found two patients who had become injured whilst travelling on board a private aircraft.



"One patient, a man believed to be in his 50s, was seriously injured. He was treated at the scene for multiple injuries and airlifted to University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire for further assessment and treatment.



"A second man was treated at the scene for flash burns to his body and a back injury.



"The man, believed to be in his 30s, was immobilised using a spinal board and neck collar before being conveyed, via land ambulance, to Birmingham's Heartlands Hospital."

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