Northern Ireland

NI Newspaper review: Plane crash dominates front pages

News Letter front page 20/04/18 Image copyright News Letter

A plane crash that killed two people in County Antrim is the main story making Friday's front pages.

"Plane crash crew killed avoiding homes" is the arresting headline on the front page of the Daily Mirror.

Inside, it reports an eyewitness account of the crash near Loanends, County Antrim.

"It was very unsteady and the wings were going lopsided - it was all over the place.

"The two children were playing in the garden so we are very lucky more people were not hurt."

Image copyright PACEMAKER
Image caption The plane came down between Nutts Corner and Loanends in County Antrim

The News Letter front page says eyewitnesses to the "horror" crash saw the aircraft circle over houses and attempt to land, before crashing into a field.

In the Belfast Telegraph, its main report focuses on the "anguish of witnesses who rushed to the scene" of the crash.

Roy Divers was one of the first at the scene - he told the newspaper of his "terrible feeling of helplessness".

"You know it's somebody's loved one lying there and there's nothing you can do about it.

"There was absolutely nothing anyone could have done."

Young mother death

The Belfast Telegraph also reports that the pilot of the plane was a "highly competent commercial pilot with significant flying experience".

It says it's understood the pilot would occasionally rent the two-seater Cessna 152 from the Ulster Flying Club in Newtownards.

The Irish News reports that the plane is believed to have been on a training exercise.

Elsewhere in the Irish News, its front page focuses on the death of a young mother in north Belfast after she was struck by a stolen car.

It reports that the victim was killed after the car was stolen from the Cavehill Road. A 39-year-old man was arrested at the scene and has been charged with death by dangerous driving.

Image copyright PACEMAKER
Image caption The crash involved three cars and a truck

It says that "shocked eyewitnesses described seeing a car driving at high speed along the busy road before hearing a bang from the collision".

The Belfast Telegraph reports that police had stopped their pursuit of the stolen car just before it struck the victim.

Supt Melanie Jones says PSNI officers had been concerned "about the dangerous manner in which the stolen car was being driven".

In its editorial, the Belfast Telegraph says the "mother-of-two joins a long list of people who have been killed by those who steal vehicles" and that "there is certainly a public appetite for severe sentences for those who injure or kill other people while driving a stolen car".

Meanwhile, Arlene Foster's evidence to the RHI inquiry continues to generate headlines.

The News Letter reports that the DUP leader has "distanced herself" from the release of a whistleblower email by her party in December 2016.

The paper reports that the inquiry's chair, Sir Patrick Coghlin, said there was a possibility that the whistleblower had been "fed to the wolves" after the email release identified her.

Image caption The UK Border Force will conduct a review into its policy that it can only hire people with UK passports

The paper also said that Mrs Foster "identified a host of failures by her officials and others which contributed to the RHI scheme imploding but has maintained her stance that there are no mistakes for which she is to blame".

Back over in the Irish News, it reports that a review into UK Border Force policy will take place after it emerged that only people with UK passports could apply for Border Force jobs in Belfast.

The Equality Commission says it raised concerns on the grounds of fair employment legislation - and that the review will now take place "as a matter of urgency".

And, finally, there could be a major development in the educational outlook of south Belfast with the news that an integrated primary school could move to a much bigger site.

Forge Integrated Primary School could move to the site of the former Knockbreda High School as part of a multi-million pound plan, the Daily Mirror reports.

The estimated cost of the new build is £7.5m but the plan could face objections from residents concerned over increased traffic.