Three people are in hospital after a light aircraft smashed into the runway at Teesside International Airport.
The small plane reportedly got into trouble shortly after taking off this morning, falling back to the ground.
One ‘seriously injured’ passenger had to be airlifted off the runway for emergency medical treatment.
Flights bound for the airport are having to be cancelled or diverted to nearby airports.
An investigation of the runway must be carried out before any more planes can take off or land.
A witness told TeessideLive there was no explosion or fire after the crash which looked like it had been caused by an engine failure.
They said: ‘The engine sounded like it was really struggling, then it just seemed to cut out.
‘It looked like the pilot managed to keep the plane fairly level as it started to come down, but then it just dropped rapidly, then I heard a thud behind the tree line.’
A statement from the airport reads: ‘We can confirm an incident occurred today involving a light aircraft at 09:39.
‘A pilot and two passengers were onboard and have been taken to hospital.
‘Our runway will remain closed until further notice while a thorough investigation is carried out.
‘We would like to thank the emergency services, on site staff for their quick response.’
Rob Cherrie, who was on the scene for Cleveland Fire Brigade, told TeessideLive he understood the crash took place while taking off.
At least four flights, including from Spain and Portugal, are being rerouted to Newcastle International Airport.
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said: ‘Thoughts and prayers are with the three people onboard at the time of the incident and their families.
‘At this time I want to thank the incredible response by the airport fire service and the immediate response of local emergency services to the incident.’