An Airbus A320 passenger plane collided with a fire truck on a runway during take-off. Two firefighters were killed and a third is seriously injured.
The fire crew were attached to the LAP Aeronautical Fire Brigade.
There were 102 passengers and 6 crew members on board the aircraft, all of whom escaped uninjured.
The tragic incident happened at Jorge Chávez International Airport, Lima, Peru at around 3.15pm local time on Friday, 18th November.
Two fire trucks were responding to another aircraft which had alerted emergency services to a mechanical failure. While responding, one fire truck is reported to have crossed the active runway without ATC authorisation. The LATAM Aircraft, Flight LA2213 was accelerating on Lima’s runway 16 when it collided with the fire truck. The crew rejected the take-off at high speed (130 knots approx.) but it wasn’t able to avoid the collision with the fire truck.
Aircraft tracking websites reported the aeroplane taking off at full speed and hitting the fire truck, also travelling at speed.
Aviation eyewitnesses said the collision resulted in the right main gear collapsing and caught fire due to the resulting friction against the runway. The aircraft veered right towards the right-hand runway edge coming to a stop partially off the runway about 2500 meters down the runway. The fire erupted around the right-hand engine.
Lima Airport Partners (LAP) which operates the Jorge Chavez airport said it “deeply regrets the loss of life of two members of the LAP Aeronautical Fire Brigade in the accident that occurred between a fire engine and the aircraft operating flight LA2213 from Lima to Juliaca. Teams are providing the necessary care to all passengers, who are doing well. We are also investigating to determine the cause of the incident.”
Four ambulances and additional fire truck and rescue units were mobilised after the alarm was raised at 3.25pm local time.
Airport operations have been suspended until further notice.
Emergency Times Editor’s note: Our thoughts go to the firefighters who were killed, and those who were injured, and al their families and colleagues at this time.