Cork crash survivor Donal Walsh

Cork plane crash survivor cheats death twice


Cork crash survivor Donal Walsh

For Donal Walsh, a survivor of the Cork Airport tragedy, the Thursday plane crash was his second brush with death in the past year.

The Manx airline plane went down in heavy fog with 12 people on board. Six died and six were injured.

The 22-year-old Walsh survived another accident caused by fog when his family was involved in a car crash last summer.

"There was a bad fog and we hit a sign after going off the road," Donal's father John told the Irish Independent.

"We were in hospital after but Donal only had a few cuts and bruises," added Donal's brother Ciaran.

"The car went off the road, the weather was bad and my dad couldn't see this sign."

Donal, who was sitting at the back of the plane and came out of the wreckage with only a few cuts and bruises, was released from Cork University Hospital on Friday, just in time to be reunited with his grandmother for her 85th birthday on Saturday.

Amazingly, he had sought to change his seat but the front ones, where the casualties occurred, were taken.

Heather Elliot, a 54-year-old mother of three, also survived the crash, saying she phoned her elderly mother from her hospital bed to let her know she was okay.

Peter Cowley, a 31-year-old engineer from Cork, suffered multiple injuries in the crash, including a broken neck and a partly severed ear, but survived due to the rapid response of the emergency services.

"If the fire officers and workers and everyone else didn't react as quickly as they did, he probably wouldn't have been saved, “ said his father, Peter Sr.

"They saved the lives of the passengers. We will always remember them for what they did for Peter and us.”


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