Our parents would be dead now if they had been at home’

PUBLISHED: 12:44 03 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:36 25 August 2010

SHOCK:  Peter and Steven Hale believe their parents would not have survived the crash if they hadn’t been awa.

SHOCK: Peter and Steven Hale believe their parents would not have survived the crash if they hadn’t been awa.

THE couple whose house was destroyed when a plane crashed into it would have stood no chance of surviving if they had been inside, according to their shocked sons.

THE couple whose house was destroyed when a plane crashed into it would have stood "no chance of surviving" if they had been inside, according to their shocked sons.

Distressed banker Steven Hale, 45, son to Pat Harman and stepson to her husband Ed, visited the half demolished home in Romsey Close, Farnborough, on Monday afternoon with his brother Peter, 42.

Police said it was a "miracle" that Ed and Pat Harman were on separate holidays last Sunday when a plane carrying five people crashed into their house, killing all on board.

Mrs Harman, 68, a retired medical secretary, is now seeking refuge at a friend's house in Sidcup.

Peter Hale, also a banker, said: "There would have been no chance of them surviving had they been in the property, and on a normal Sunday afternoon, had it been an hour earlier, my mother her brother and partner would have been inside the house.

"It was a fantastic house, it's really neighbourly round here. They were settled and enjoying retirement but now it's all gone. It's very distressing but they will rebuild their lives and their belongings again.

"To us it's bricks and mortar. We didn't know it was going on until we saw it on the TV. We're thankful they're alive, they're thankful they're alive.

"There are a lifetime possessions in there and none of us would like to lose those, but my mother's first thoughts were with the victims and to the deceased that were on the plane."

Mrs Harman was on holiday with her daughter in Madeira while Mr Harman, 72, was on a golfing holiday in the Algarve. He returned to England on Tuesday but the couple have still not seen the ruins of their home, where they've lived since 1990.

Police said they would need to look at the structure of the house with the Local Authority and the insurance company to determine whether or not to demolish it.

Steven Hale said: "There is not much left of the house at the top at all, especially on the side where the plane crashed in to it.

"My parents are bearing up. My mother is not very well but she is in as good spirits as you can expect if your house has been destroyed." A statement by the two sons also praised the emergency services in the aftermath of the crash and said their parents were "enamoured by the local community spirit demonstrated by friends and neighbours".

The bodies of the crash victims were recovered by emergency workers on Monday and taken to Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough.

Families of the victims - pilots Mike Roberts and Mike Chapman and passengers including British touring car champion David Leslie, Apex Jaguar racing team's Richard Lloyd and Christopher Allarton - visited the scene on Tuesday to pay their respects.

Borough Commander Charles Griggs said: "Our sympathy is with the friends and family of those who died. Friends and family of the deceased are owed a full and thorough investigation which will take a few days."

Air investigation teams were continuing their search for clues to establish what caused the accident.

Emergency workers say that no black box flight recorders were on the craft as they are not required for private jets.


Latest Bexley news

Friday, November 16, 2018

Christmas 2018 and the Northern Lights are welcomed to Bexleyheath on Saturday, November 17 with a spectacular mix of music and dance from stilt walkers to bhangra dancers, and acoustic artists to fire shows.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Now back from recording the second series of All Together Now, Brit School teacher and Bromley local Georg Tormann is now warming up for Christmas with his Beckenham-based choir.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

A Bexley artist has raised her concerns that a revamp of Hall Place will see the death of the art scene in the area.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Wildlife enthusiasts are calling for “embarrassing” fly-tipping that is blighting marshland in Bexley to be cleared up.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas expressed concerns that an energy park in Bexley will lead to “toxic fumes” billowing across the Thames to the Rainham and Beam Park development area.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Bexleyheath pub will be offering free gin and tonic today, in exchange for a very unusual currency - cake.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Cash-strapped Bexley schools have been writing to parents asking for money for supplies, according to a councillor.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford David Evennett was the guest of honour and speaker at an Armistice and Remembrance Commemoration held at the Bexleyheath Conservative Club on Sunday (November 11).

Most read news

Digital Edition

Read the Bexley Times e-edition today

Newsletter Sign Up

Bexley Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24