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Belfast buzzing as Christmas festivities get underway

There’s a real festive buzz in Belfast on Saturday as the Christmas market has opened at City Hall and preparations are underway for the Christmas lights switch-on.

Lord Mayor Nuala McAllister will be joined by special guests including children’s characters and Cavehill Primary School choir for an evening of fun before the big switch-on.

All tickets have been allocated for the event and traffic diversions will be in place in and around the City Hall. Pedestrians will have access until 5.30pm when it becomes a ticket holder zone.

Passenger taken to hospital after emergency plane landing

The Flybe plane landed without the front wheel down for landing. Credit: UTV

One passenger has been taken to hospital with a sprain injury after a Flybe plane made an emergency landing at Belfast International Airport.

A spokesperson for the airline confirmed the aircraft landed with its nose gear raised, meaning its front wheel did not work for landing.

The aircraft had left Belfast City Airport on Friday morning and was destined for Inverness on when it developed technical problems.

After circling above the Irish sea for almost two hours dumping fuel, the plane eventually diverted to the airport at Aldergrove.

It had 53 passengers on board, including one infant, as well as four crew members. One person was taken for treatment to a minor hand injury.

The spokesperson added, “We are sending a specialist team to Belfast to offer assistance and we will now do all we can to understand the cause of this incident.”

A statement from Flybe CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener said that the crew had taken "the necessary precautionary actions to ensure the aircraft landed as safely as was possible" adding, "safety is our highest priority and our crew are highly trained and undergo regular training to calmly and professionally handle any such situations.

"We sincerely apologise to the passengers for the disruption to their journey and any distress caused and our Customer Care team will remain in close contact with them over the next few days."

The airline organised a replacement flight for later in the evening.

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Flybe flight to Inverness makes emergency landing at Belfast International Airport

A Flybe flight to Inverness has made an emergency landing at Belfast International Airport due to technical problems.

The Flybe flight 331 from Belfast City took off at around 11.20am, it is understood and was circling off the coast before it was diverted to Belfast International Airport where it landed safely.

It's believed the plane has an issue with its nose gear, according to reports.

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Benone becomes first totally inclusive beach in NI

Benone has become the first totally inclusive beach in Northern Ireland.

Specialist buggies, floating chairs and even a wheelchair surfboard have meant the strand is no longer off limits to anyone, thanks to the Mae Murray Foundation.

For many young people with physical disabilities, it was this was their very first time on the sand and their first dip in the sea, as Gareth Wilkinson reports.

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