Tuesday 24 January 2017

Survivors of that fateful day on flight NM7100

Published 12/02/2011 | 05:00

Lawrence Wilson Mid 50s Larne, businessman, skills development: A PROBLEM with a passport meant that Lawrence Wilson took the place of a colleague on flight NM7100.

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He settled in for the flight to Cork ahead of an early-morning appointment delivering forklift training to young people.

But the businessman from Glenoe would have to dig himself out of the debris of the plane, miraculously escaping without major injury. He was released from Cork University Hospital last night.

"He told me the worst part for him was that he felt he was suffocating because of the debris," his business partner Malachy Delgary said. "He clawed with his hands through it to get his breath."

Husband to May and father to three grown-up daughters -- Emma, Donna and Lorna -- Mr Wilson, aged in his 50s, is a respected figure in the Larne area.

SIX people escaped the crash with their lives, but only one escaped from the front of the plane.

Peter Cowley (31) Cork, engineer: was seated directly behind the pilot on the flight from Belfast.

The 31-year-old works as an engineer with Keystone in Northern Ireland, but grew up in Cork.

He went to secondary school in one of the the city's most famous rugby strongholds -- Christian Brothers College.

And, as part of his third level education, he attended both Cork Institute of Technology and Waterford Institute of Technology.

He was flying home to see his parents, Peter Snr and Anne, when the plane crashed.

He suffered a broken neck, fractured collar bone, broken ribs, broken wrist, a punctured lung and had part of his right ear severed.

But, remarkably, he survived.

He was yesterday undergoing plastic surgery at the hospital to mend his ear and will have to wear a neck brace for at least 12 weeks.

BRENDAN MALLON'S (36) Bangor, Co Down, manager, Falcon Holidays: wife thought he had died.

The 36-year-old was travelling to Cork to help launch a new Bandon franchise of Falcon Holidays.

His wife Heather heard of the crash at their home in Bangor, Co Down. The couple have two children.

Yesterday, Mrs Mallon described his survival as "a miracle".

Mr Mallon is Falcon's commercial trade manager.

He is due to undergo surgery for "multiple injuries", and it is planned to transfer him to a Belfast hospital when he is well enough.

DONAL WALSH (22) Waterford city student: was able to walk from the wreckage of flight NM7100. It is the second time in less than a year that he has been in a major accident -- the first was a car crash. He asked to move seats but couldn't be facilitated.

The 22-year-old is the youngest in a family of five from John's Hill in Waterford City. A student in UCC, he is currently on a year out but hopes to return to pursue a masters this year. He converted to being an Evangelic Christian once in college -- and has been studying the bible since his teens.

"He's not especially loud -- he gets away with being quiet," said his brother, Ciaran. "He never had a fear of flying," he added.

"MUM, it's lovely to hear you."

Heather Elliott (54) Downpatrick, lecturer, computer science: is a mother-of-three who was travelling to Cork to see her own elderly mother.

And the 54-year-old managed to get a call through to her mother Roma before she underwent surgery at Cork University Hospital.

Heather grew up in Cork but has lived in Downpatrick for all her married life with husband Stephen and their children Jennifer (24), David (21) and Peter (17).

She is a lecturer in computer science in the town, but is also a regular visitor 'home' to Kinsale.

She had been sitting near the wing of the plane but told her mother she was not scared.

Heather has undergone surgery for cracked ribs and other injuries but her condition is described as stable.



Irish Independent

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