Rector’s daughter walks from plane wreckage

A CHURCHMAN’S daughter had a miraculous escape yesterday when she escaped relatively unharmed from the plane crash that killed six people at Cork Airport.

Kinsale-born Heather Elliott was seated near the wing of the turbo prop aircraft, which crash-landed on a runway in dense fog yesterday morning, after overturning and catching fire while making its third attempt to land.

Heather, in her 40s, a married mother-of-two and living in Belfast for many years, was returning to Kinsale on the 18-seater Manx2 airline flight from Belfast to Cork to visit her mother for the weekend.

But she is understood to have been one of the two people who managed to survive the plane wreckage relatively unscathed.

Heather was being treated at Cork University Hospital last night, but her condition was described as “comfortable” and she is expected to make a full recovery.

Yesterday, Kinsale-based Canon David Williams, of St. Multose Rectory, said he had visited Heather in hospital, where she was in a deep state of shock, but was surprisingly upbeat.

“I visited Heather this morning and she is in remarkably good spirits considering what she has been through.

“She is still in a state of shock and she is being treated for her injuries at the A&E department, but she should make a full recovery.

“Other family members have spent the day in hospital with her. But the emergency services have been superb in the way that they’ve responded to this.

“It’s such an awful tragedy, but it’s wonderful that some of the passengers survived.”

Heather is the daughter of Oliver Peare, a highly-respected former rector of 23 years of St Multose rectory.

Her brother David, a local businessman in his 40s, was last night said to be in a state of shock.

His delicatessen business, the Quay Food Company in Market Quay in the town centre, was shut yesterday, after he heard about the plane crash.

A hand-written note on the door of his business stated: “We are closed today. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

Another family friend said: “We can’t believe Heather escaped. It’s truly a miracle.

“It looks like she’s going to be okay. At least six people have died and others are seriously injured, so there are many grieving relatives whose lives have been torn apart.

“It’s going to take her a long time to get over this.

“Obviously she is in a state of utter shock. I don’t think words could describe the terror she must have gone through, as the plane overtuned and caught fire.

“But thankfully, she should make a full recovery. We’re one of the few lucky ones.”

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