herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Trapped wife feared she would burn alive

THE husband of one of the survivors of the air crash has revealed his wife's terrifying experience on the doomed flight.

Kinsale woman Heather Elliott (52) was one of the six people who miraculously lived through the tragic crash on Thursday morning.

Mrs Elliott, who was born in Cork but lives in Belfast, was sitting close to the wing and was pulled from the wreckage.

She has told her husband Stephen that the pilot's last words of warning were that they would be trying to land a third time.

Heather knew there had been two attempts to land and the captain of the plane had told them he was going to "try a third time".

"She was apprehensive, she was nervous. She said everyone was. She said she didn't think he should have attempted the third landing and doesn't know why he didn't divert," he said.

"Heather remembers feeling the soft ground under the plane, and she didn't really realise she was upside down," said Stephen, a barrister, who thanked emergency workers in Cork for saving his wife's life.

"All she could see was the guy beside her after the crash, and he was able to get out, but Heather was trapped. She was afraid it would burst into flames, but wasn't aware there was a fire."





Operation

The mum-of-two had an operation on Thursday night and had her gall bladder removed. She also suffered fractures of ribs and pelvis, but is expected to make a full recovery.

Meanwhile, the father of another survivor, Peter Cowley (31), spoke of his relief as it emerged that his son was the only survivor to escape from the crumpled front of the plane.

Peter, an engineer, from Glanmire, Cork, was seated directly behind Spanish pilot Jordi Sola Lopez and suffered multiple serious injuries.

His father, Peter Snr, credited the rapid response of the emergency services at the airport for saving his son's life and that of the other survivors.

Peter suffered a broken neck and had part of his right ear severed. He was yesterday undergoing plastic surgery and will have to wear a neck brace for at least 12 weeks.

He also suffered a broken collar bone, broken wrist, broken ribs and a punctured lung. His father added that he suffered some bruising to the brain.

Brendan Mallon (36), a commercial trade manager for Falcon Holidays, is recovering in hospital with multiple injuries.

His condition is stable. Other survivors include Donal Walsh, from Waterford, and businessman Laurence Wilson, from Larne, Co Antrim, who were discharged from hospital yesterday. The last survivor is Mark Dickens, from Watford, in London, who remains in hospital.

hnews@herald.ie

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