Kegworth survivor attending the 30th anniversary of crash

ONE of the local survivors of the Kegworth air disaster will be in attendance at the 30th anniversary service of the crash today, Tuesday.

Killylea man Desmond Clarke travelled over with his daughter, Ashley and son, Ryan to the memorial service in Kegworth.

However, Dungannon man Mervyn Finlay indicated he did not intend to attend the service, having only received notice it was happening when he read about the upcoming service in the Courier a couple of weeks previously.

And he said he understood that Tynan man Leslie Bloomer was also planning not to attend the service.

A Toomebridge man who suffered brain damage and paralysis down one side during the crash was also due to attend the service.

Stephen McCoy was a 16-year-old boxing champion at the time of the crash and was unconscious for 18 months and it was three years before he left hospital.

Five people from Tyrone, Patricia Irwin and her son Michael Hynds (Beragh), Rodney Burrows and his wife Jean (Castlecaulfield) and Ita McKenna (Augher) were among the 47 people who died when a British Midland flight plummeted to the ground after an engine malfunction. It was travelling from London Heathrow to Belfast international on 8th January, 1989.

The aircraft crashed just metres from East Midlands Airport, where it was due to make an emergency landing.

As well as the 47 deaths, 74 people were injured. The service was by Kegworth Parish Council, which is inviting people from Northern Ireland to attend.

It said the crash still affects the local community who have not forgotten what happened. Confusion over whether the left or right engine had failed led to the plane gliding with no power.

The village of Kegworth was narrowly avoided. Miraculously, no-one on the motorway fell victim to the disaster.

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