updated 3:29 p.m. ET Nov. 19, 2010
LONDON – A small plane carrying a liver for transplant crashed and burst into flames at England’s Birmingham Airport Friday. Two crew members were injured, but rescuers managed to salvage the donor organ and rush it to a nearby hospital
West Midlands Police Chief Inspector Matt Markham stated the privately owned Cessna made a “hard landing” and caught fire just after 3:30 p.m. (1530GMT, 10:30 a.m. EST).
He stated visibility in the area, 120 miles (195 kilometers) north of London, was “appalling” because of thick fog.
An airport spokesman stated the plane, flying from Belfast, clipped an antenna as it came in to land.
The Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance Service stated its helicopter pilot “bravely entered the burning wreckage” to cut the plane’s fuel supply and help extract the injured pilot.
It stated the 58-year-old pilot was airlifted to a hospital with chest, abdomen and pelvic injuries. He was in serious but stable condition. A second man, in his 30s, was being treated for burns and a back injury.
Markham stated the liver was rushed to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital under police escort. Staff there stated it had been medically assessed and would be transplanted “shortly.”
Birmingham Airport’s runway was closed after the accident, with departures cancelled and incoming flights diverted to other airports.
The airport stated it would remain closed until Saturday morning at the earliest.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Submited at Saturday, November 20th, 2010 at 10:00 am on News by ethan
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