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

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."


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