Unveiling of memorial honouring 55 passengers who died in Manchester air disaster 33 years ago

A memorial to honour the 55 people who died in a major plane disaster 33 years ago was unveiled yesterday.

Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 9:30 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 10:35 am
The service was conducted by airport chaplain, the Reverend George Lane

A couple from Penwortham were among those killed when a fire took hold of the British Airtours Boeing 737 flight at Manchester Airport on August 22, 1985.

Self-employed builder Chris Brannigan and his wife Ann, both 42, from Highgate both lost their lives in the accident which afterwards was described as ‘a defining moment in the history of civil aviation’.

The memorial, five-metre high wooden stakes inscribed with the names of those whose lives were lost, was unveiled at a service at Manchester Airport on the anniversary.

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The memorial to honour the 55 people who died in a major plane disaster 33 years ago

Alex Cruz, British Airways CEO and chairman, said: “Once again our thoughts are very much with the families and friends of all those who died in this tragic event 33 years ago.

"This thought provoking permanent memorial stands testament to the fact they did not die in vain.

“As a result of what happened on that flight, major lessons have been learned across the aviation industry and billions of airline passengers across the world since then have benefited from those enhanced safety standards.”

Friends of the Brannigans, Damien Southworth and Debra Whalley, also originally from Penwortham, managed to scramble to safety from the burning wreck.

The memorial to honour the 55 people who died in a major plane disaster 33 years ago

The plane, bound for Corfu, was travelling down the runway when the port engine exploded and debris punctured the wing and a fuel tank.