Two dead after plane crashes near Belfast Airport

Belfast airport is operating as normal

Two dead after plane crashes near Belfast Airport

The exterior of Belfast International Airport. Image: Liam McBurney/PA Wire/PA Images

Two people have died after a light aircraft crashed near Belfast International Airport.

Northern Irish police confirmed the deaths in a tweet this evening.

PSNI Superintendent Emma Bond said police were not in a position to identify the victims, noting that the scene is expected to be closed off "for some time."

“Emergency services received a report of a crash shortly after 12.30pm this afternoon," she said.

"The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) will examine the scene to determine the cause of the crash.

“Cordons have been placed in the area surrounding the aircraft to maintain the integrity of the scene as the investigation continues.

"I would ask that the cordons are respected by all and directions from officers at the scene are heeded."

The crash occurred near Nutts Corner, Crumlin two or three miles from Belfast Airport.

Earlier, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said it was "attending the scene of a light aircraft on fire near Nutts Corner, Crumlin."

Fire and Rescue crews from Antrim, Crumlin and Glenormley were dispatched to the scene.

Three ambulance crews and an air ambulance were also deployed, the ambulance service said.

A spokesperson said no patients had been removed from the scene, adding that the 'major incident' was stood down at 12:49.

"Just tragic"

Resident Amy Storey lives close by to the crash site.

"It is unbelievable really that this has happened so close to home," she said.

"We have seen a lot of activity around; ambulances and so on - but it is just tragic."

The airport tweeted that it was running a normal service, and that the plane was not operating either to or from it.

Normal service

Belfast Airport said it is operating as normal following "an incident involving a light aircraft" two or three miles from the airport.

It said the "aircraft was not operating into or out of the airport."

It is thought it may have taken off from Newtownards Airfield.