50 years on: fatal Gatwick plane crash remembered

It happened at 2.35am on 5th January 1969 Credit: British Pathe
  • Watch Mike Pearse's report below

This weekend will mark the 50th anniversary of a plane crash in Surrey which killed 50 people.

A Boeing 727 airliner was on its approach to Gatwick Airport in heavy fog when it crashed into a house in Fernhill Lane in Horley.

Forty eight passengers and crew members died in the crash.

The couple living in the house were both killed but their 18-month-old baby daughter was found alive in the wreckage by PC Pat Buss and PC Keith Simmonds.

  • Video: Former Surrey Police officer, Keith Simmonds recalls rescuing infant from house wreckage

Surrey Police say the aircraft flaps were not extended far enough to maintain flight at its final approach speeds.

As it descended, it hit a chimney pot of a house, crashed through trees and slid 200 yards before completely demolishing a house and catching fire.

Credit: British Pathe

The crash resulted in the greatest number of fatalities in the vicinity of the airport.

The Boeing 727 airliner was owned by Ariana, Afghan Airline.

The majority of passengers on the plane were Indians living in Britain.

PC Pat Buss and PC Keith Simmonds heard a baby crying and rescued her from the rubble of the demolished house