Birmingham: Airport reopens after crash delays

FLIGHTS have resumed from Birmingham Airport today after a light aircraft crash closed runways for nearly 24 hours.

Passengers were left stranded last night after the airport closed to all incoming and outgoing aeroplanes when a private Cessna aircraft carrying a donor liver for a transplant patient at a nearby hospital crashed and burst into flames at the end of a runway.

Two men on board the plane were injured, including the 58-year-old pilot who was airlifted to hospital with multiple injuries and is still in a critical condition.

But the quick thinking of an air ambulance pilot, who bravely entered the burning wreckage to cut the fuel supply, meant the donor organ they were transporting could be saved and the recipient underwent successful surgery last night.

Runways reopened at 12 noon today, although delays are expected to last for days as the airport struggles to clear the backlog of cancelled flights.

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Birmingham Airport spokeswoman Justine Hunt said: “Flight arrivals have commenced and passengers have begun boarding aircraft for outbound flights.

“Passengers should be aware that there may be some disruption to flights over the course of today and they are therefore advised to check with their airline for specific details.

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“The airport is expecting 110 flights to operate this afternoon.

“Some 80 were affected following the incident, which forced the closure of the runway at 3.40pm on Friday.

“The airport would like to thank the emergency services and authorities involved for their assistance during the last 24 hours, as well as its passengers for their patience.”

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