Northern Ireland

Belfast International Airport runway plane towed after delays

A cargo plane got stuck on the runway at Belfast International Airport Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The plane was stuck at the intersection of the airport's two runways for 12 hours with a damaged undercarriage

A damaged cargo plane that was stuck on the runway at Belfast International Airport has been towed away.

The plane caused more than 12 hours of disruption after landing shortly before 06:00 BST with a damaged undercarriage.

Passengers were warned to expect more delays as oil was washed away, before the runway was cleared at about 18:30.

The airport was temporarily closed earlier and all flights were suspended. Ten flights were cancelled and others were delayed.

Flights then operated from a shortened runway because of the obstruction.

Collapse concerns

The airport's managing director, Graham Keddie, said the freight aircraft had landed "right at the wrong time and right in the wrong place".

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Media captionBelfast International Airport: Queues and disruption after flights cancelled

He said it "had to stop right in the junction of both our runways," he said.

The airport's operations director, Alan Whiteside, said the plane's starboard undercarriage had been damaged, which had made it difficult to move.

The airport authorities also had to wait for the Air Accident Investigation team to give the go-ahead for the plane's removal.

Image copyright Twitter

Mr Whiteside said the result was "quite a bit of havoc" which had a knock-on effect throughout the day.

Image caption There were delays to all incoming and outgoing flights at Belfast International Airport

'Not willing to move'

There were lengthy queues in the terminal on Tuesday morning, said BBC News NI's Louise Cullen at the scene.

June Stobey from Newtownabbey arrived at the airport at 06:15, having planned a "birthday treat" trip to Glasgow with her son, Andrew.

"We were travelling Tuesday morning and coming back on Wednesday afternoon but our flight has been cancelled until 17:45," she said.

"He was looking forward to it but he's not willing to move from here until we get on the plane."

Image caption Sam McClean missed his connecting flight to Tasmania as a result of the delays at the airport

Sam McClean had been due to get an 08:10 flight to Glasgow, but it was cancelled.

"I was due to get a flight from Glasgow to Tasmania at 14:15 but I'm now having to wait on a flight at 17:20 that I'm hoping I'll get," he said.

Image caption BBC News NI's Louise Cullen is at the airport and said there were "lengthy queues"

"I'll have to get in touch with my relations in Ireland and get them to phone my wife in Tasmania and say: 'Don't come and pick me up, because the flight's been cancelled and I don't know when I'll be home.'"

Mr Keddie said airlines tried to get people booked onto later flights.

Passengers can get the latest flight information here.

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