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'The whole plane turned pink': Low-flying cargo aircraft hit by lightning over Herne Bay

By Danny Boyle
Kent International Airport, Manston
Kent International Airport, Manston

Rumours of a major crash off the east Kent coast were sparked after a cargo plane flying low to Manston airport was struck by lightning.

Hundreds of people in Herne Bay heard the roar of the aircraft flying over before what was described as an "almighty bang".

But Kent Police and Kent International Airport officials have confirmed nobody was injured and the plane was undamaged by the strike, late yesterday morning.

The incident sparked a series of hoaxes on Facebook and Twitter, with many posting pictures of the Hudson River plane crash of early 2009.

Nick Evans, a communications manager for Pilgrims Hospices, said: "My wife Sue and I heard the roar of what sounded like a 747 going overhead. It was very low.

"After a moment there was an almighty bang. I didn't see it getting struck, but Sue said the whole plane turned pink."

Kent Police spokesman Jon Green said: "Someone called our control room to say they saw a low flying plane near Manston and then heard a bang - it could have been thunder - and then didn't see the plane again.

"We alerted Manston airport. Nothing more was heard."

Sian Errington, from Manston airport, said: "We were alerted by a member of the public to the incident.

"The pilot was aware his plane had been struck. No damage was caused however and he left according to schedule the next morning."

Did you take pictures of the plane hit by lightning? Send them to multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or tweet @Kent_Online.

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