Republic of Ireland news

Plane taking voters home for abortion referendum struck by aircraft on ground

Father Tom Harrington arrives at the polling station in Knock National school, Mayo, as the country goes to the polls to vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution 
Sam Russell, Press Association

A Dublin-bound passenger jet carrying dozens of voters home for the Republic's abortion referendum was hit by another plane preparing for take-off at Stansted Airport.

Both planes were on the taxiway when the tail of the Ryanair aircraft was clipped by the wing of a Primera flight to Malaga, Ryanair said in a statement.

Staff from The Independent who were on board the Ryanair flight said that the mood among passengers "remained calm, even jovial".

Voting underway in Republic's abortion referendum

An airport spokesman said both planes were required to return to the stand after the "minor airfield incident" at around 9.15am on Friday.

"No injuries have been reported and no evacuation was required from either aircraft," the spokesman added.

"As a precaution, airfield operations were briefly suspended, but all flights have now resumed."

Ryanair said in a statement: "One of our aircraft was stationary at the designated holding point on the taxiway at London Stansted Airport this morning when the winglet of a Primera Air aircraft taxiing behind scraped its tail stabiliser.

"Both aircraft were under the instruction of London Stansted Air Traffic Control at the time.

"The Ryanair aircraft returned to stand to be inspected by Ryanair engineers.

"To minimise delay, customers will transfer to a replacement aircraft later this morning."

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