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UK News The heroes who saved the lives of three people when a plane crashed in front of them

07:50  15 february  2020
07:50  15 february  2020 Source:   walesonline.co.uk

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The fear so many people experience when flying is often linked to the worry that something might end up going "I crashed in a 737 six miles short of the runway in New Delhi. Only 17 of us survived out of 65. I broke my pelvis (from slamming into the seat in front of me), broke my right arm (was thrown

Salesman Daniel Nicholson was driving his son home along the A40 when he saw a plane come down metres in front of him.

He knew he was passing an airfield, and knew it was fairly notorious, but he never expected to see a plane coming towards him "out of nowhere".

The plane, carrying three members of the same family, crashed onto the busy dual carriageway near Abergavenny on May 12 last year.

Jack Moore, then 19, and sister Billie Manley, at the time aged 16, were flying to watch Cardiff City play Manchester United with pilot uncle Stuart Moore when the crash happened.

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Among the 45 people onboard, 28 survived the crash . Facing starvation and death, the Witness accounts and evidence at the scene indicated the plane struck the mountain either two or three Of the 45 people on the aircraft, three passengers and two crew members in the tail section were killed

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"I didn't see it coming – it just came out of the trees, hit the power lines and the trees," said Daniel. He was driving at around 70mph and the plane came to a halt about 500 yards in front of him.

a group of people in a park: Police, fire and ambulance crews attended the incident © James Davies Police, fire and ambulance crews attended the incident

What happened next probably lasted a couple of minutes, he said. He can't remember what he was thinking or what went through his mind. But the impact on the lives of the three people he saved, and on him and the other passer-by who helped out, have been longer lasting.

After seeing the plane crash in front of him he gave no thought to jumping from his car and going to help. Daniel watched as the plane came down in front of him, hit the central barrier, and burst into flames.

"As I got closer the whole plane was engulfed in flames," said Daniel. "It had turned upside down so the flames were on top."

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a man and woman posing for the camera: Jack Moore, 19, was on the flight with pilot uncle Stuart Moore (right) when the plane crashed © Wales News Service Jack Moore, 19, was on the flight with pilot uncle Stuart Moore (right) when the plane crashed

He ran straight to the wing and found the plane's front window where he was amazed to find the pilot alive.

Daniel, 46, was met by screams from within. "I've never heard fear like it," he said.

"I could only see one, the pilot, and there was a very small window at the back." He tried to smash through the window but there was no way it would break.

"At that point I could see flames coming over, the smoke was getting stronger. I didn't start to panic but I didn't know what to do.

"Thankfully at the rear there was a crack in the window there. I thankfully got it open enough, two people in the back.

"They were conscious but screaming. Jack got his arms out and I managed to pull him out. His sister was in a lot of distress and she said 'I can't do it' so I convinced her to put her arms out and Joel thankfully came from the other side."

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They ’d naturally feared I was dead when they heard about the crash . My incredible survival story made headlines across the world. One of the biggest shocks to come out of the whole affair was my discovery 10 years ago that there had been two air crashes in the jungle that November in 1992.

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a airplane that is on fire: Joel Snarr and Daniel Nicholson rescued the passengers © Caters News Agency Joel Snarr and Daniel Nicholson rescued the passengers

That man was former bomb disposal expert Joel Snarr. Both men have been nominated and shortlisted for a St David Award, to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of the people of Wales.

"We both managed to drag them out," said Daniel. By now the conditions meant it needed both men to get the third person, the pilot, from the plane.

As Daniel went back to his son Joel – who has post-traumatic stress disorder following his military service – went with the trio of survivors.

"I didn't know how they were and literally as soon as we got out the plane was completely engulfed and exploding," added Daniel.

"It all just happened exactly at the right time," said Daniel.

Fire crews arrived five to 10 minutes after the rescue and by that point the plane was completely ablaze.

The following day, as media interest grew, both Joel and Daniel were on the same radio station. "The first time we spoke was on the radio," Daniel said.

Now the pair are friends while they were reunited with the family at the Pride of Britain awards.

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A teenage surfer who saved two swimmers from stormy seas and two men who rescued three plane crash The awards recognise the exceptional achievements of people and organisations, with eight of the nine I had to try and get them in myself. "Once I got them in the lifeguards took care of them ."

Worst case scenario was a crash . Keeping the plane in the air was one thing but as John, from Rossington, South Yorkshire, admits, landing in darkness was a different matter altogether. There’s a breathless pause then congratulations ring out from the tower as the plane comes to a halt.

a man and woman sitting next to a window: Daniel Nicholson and Joel Snarr are nominated for a St David Award © WalesOnline/Rob Browne Daniel Nicholson and Joel Snarr are nominated for a St David Award

The trio from inside the plane all escaped with nothing more than cuts and bruises. Daniel added: "The pilot was back flying planes within a week while Jack went to Barbados for a holiday.

"I think they probably thought: 'We've crashed once, what's the chance of that happening again?"

Daniel, like most of those nominated for the award, said he wasn't a hero.

"It's lovely to be nominated, especially by the Welsh," he laughed. "I'm glad I was there to do something about it. Some people sat there and watched, some drove around the plane. Different people do different things."

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Passengers described the flight as 'the worst of their lives' with 'severe turbulence' and the final landing abandoned as the plane 'shot back up' because of the windWales Rugby fan Jason Allen who flew to Ireland to watch his team's defeat against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday described it as the "worst flight of his life".

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