A FORMER bomb disposal expert who helped drag three people from a burning plane crash on the A40 near Abergavenny has spoken out about his heroic deeds.

Joel Starr was travelling along the A40 when he saw the light plane smash into the central reservation and burst into flames after hitting some overhead cables yesterday (Sunday, May 12).

The ex-British Army bomb disposal expert, who was recently discharged from the service with post-traumatic stress disorder, jumped into action.

He, and others, rushed to the plane and helped drag the survivors to safety.

Sprinting towards the plane he said he saw another man trying to kick one of the windows out of the aircraft, which is when he realised there were still people inside.

"A young lad had managed to crawl out through the broken window, as I got there a young woman was crawling out of the window," he said, speaking to the BBC after the crash.

"I grabbed her by the belt buckle and just dragged her clear. The pilot put his hands out - grabbed both of them - pulled him out clear of the plane."


Mr Starr said he asked the pilot if there was anyone else inside, and moved the three away from the aircraft which was ablaze to wait for the emergency services.

He told the broadcaster that the parachute and extinguishers then "popped off" due to being pressurised, and the rest of fuel in the aircraft caught fire.

"It was an incredibly intense fire," he added.

South Wales Argus:

Three people who were in the plane when it came down were taken to hospital by emergency services with what were described as non life-threatening injuries.

Gwent Police said they were called at around 11am on Sunday to reports an aircraft had to make an unscheduled landing close to the A40 between Raglan and Abergavenny - colliding with overhead wiring.

The dual carriageway was closed as result of the incident, with images captured from cars at the scene showing a plume of smoke rising into the air.

A Gwent Police spokesman said: "Three occupants of the light aircraft were treated by paramedics at the scene. Their injuries are not life-threatening."

South Wales Argus:

A spokeswoman for South Wales Fire Service said the three people were "transported by ambulance to hospital as a precautionary measure".

Police said Western Power were at the scene yesterday, working to restore power to homes affected by the downed overhead cables.

A spokesman for Network Rail confirmed the line between Newport and Hereford was closed, with replacement bus services operating until the situation had been made safe.