An unidentified pensioner found dead on Saddleworth Moor in Greater Manchester last month may have been making a final pilgrimage to the site of a 1949 plane crash, police believe.
Detectives said the man, thought to be in his 70s, could have a family member connected to the accident, which saw a BEA Douglas DC-3 go down close to where his body was found. It has even been suggested he was one of two young boys who surived the crash, in which 24 of the 32 occupants lost their lives.
As a report published in The Telegraph the day after the accident explains, the plane crashed on a “lonely hillside” at Kinders Intake, near the Lancashire-Yorkshire border. It was travelling from Belfast to Manchester and due to heavy mist and rain the pilot was “believed to have been flying blind”.
• 2015 was the safest year in aviation history
• The world’s safest – and least safe – airlines revealed
The graphic report names five of the eight survivors, some of whom suffered serious burns and took up to four hours to reach the nearest road. They included Michael Prestwick, aged two, the only survivor of a family of five, and Stephen Evans, whose brother was killed in the crash.
“The living boy was the first kiddie I reached, ” said one of the rescuers. “He was strapped in his safety belt in the fuselage. A farm labourer got him out. Another child lay dead as if asleep. The others injured were so badly burned and knocked about that they could not speak.”
Read the full report below: