Thursday 9 January 2014

Kegworth air disaster - some personal memories

At about 9pm on the evening of Sunday, 8th January 1989, I was driving northwards on the M1 to a workshop venue in Kegworth chosen because of its proximity to the M1 and airport, when a radio newsflash announced an air-crash. The plane had come in low, narrowly missed some buildings and crash-landed on the motorway embankment on the approach to the main runway of East Midlands airport.

My immediate concern was for my 12 delegates that I knew were assembling that evening for the workshop.

The motorway was closed soon afterwards and I made  my way to the hotel across country via smaller roads, no mean feat in those pre-satnav days…

On arrival I found that all of the team had been in the hotel when the plane flew overhead, obviously in trouble and seeming to narrowly miss the hotel roof before crashing nearby.

We all rang our families to reassure them that we were safe and after much discussion agreed to proceed with the workshop.

There followed a night and two days of frantic activity by the emergency services in the area, punctuated by media updates.

We finally finished the session and returned home.

In the circumstances I am not sure how much of the content sank in, but the over-riding lesson to my mind was that, despite the raw immediacy of a disaster that claimed 47 lives, life – and business – goes on… 

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