Manchester

Manchester Airport tyre blast: Lufthansa and Storm Aviation pay damages

Hendrik Donkers Image copyright Neil Hudgell Solicitors
Image caption Hendrik Donkers was standing less than a metre away from the blast

An engineer who lost an arm and a leg when a tyre on an aircraft exploded at Manchester Airport has been awarded about £600,000 in damages.

Hendrik Donkers, 39, was standing less than a metre away from the blast, which was caused by a faulty nitrogen rig that hugely overinflated the tyre.

Mr Donkers, from Germany, works for Lufthansa airline and was handed the rig by Luton-based ground handling company Storm Aviation in 2008.

Both firms paid out the compensation.

'Saw my hand come off'

The experienced engineer had been called to service to a tyre under the nose of an aircraft when the blast happened.

Mr Donkers, who now wears prosthetics on both limbs and currently co-ordinates safety at the airline, said: "Now when I hear big explosions I react badly - it has been difficult, but this money will help.

"It was very, very hard for me. I saw my hand come off - I could see my hand on the ground and other parts all over the place. It was very hard pain."

An 18-month investigation by the Air Accident Investigation Branch found the rig had been faulty, Neil Hudgell Solicitors said.

Senior solicitor Jane Woodcock said: "In the end the two defendants came to an agreement as to how they settled the damages payable to my client."

Both firms also compensated a German social accident insurance firm about £790,000, for Mr Donkers' care, prosthetics, lost earnings, aids and equipment that had been spent since the explosion in November 2008.

A spokesman for Lufthansa said: "Following the investigations into this incident, additional safety measures have been put in place to prevent similar accidents in the future."

Storm Aviation was unavailable for comment.

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites