Taxiing mistake caused plane crash at OR Tambo

By Drum Digital
23 December 2013

A taxiing mistake led to the plane crash in which four people were injured at O R Tambo International Airport, in Kempton Park, on Monday.

A taxiing mistake led to the plane crash in which four people were injured at O R Tambo International Airport, in Kempton Park, on Monday, said the SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA).

Air traffic control instructed the crew of a British Airways Boeing 747-400 departing for London to use taxi way B, SACAA spokeswoman Phindiwe Gwebu said in a statement.

"The crew continued onto taxi way M, which is narrower, resulting in the aircraft impacting on an office building behind the SAA technical hangars," she said.

Four ground-handling staff in the building sustained minor injuries when they were hit by debris after the aircraft's wing struck the building on Sunday night.

"The 17 crew and 185 passengers who were in the aircraft escaped unharmed and were evacuated," said Gwebu.

She said there was fuel spillage, but that this was contained by the airport's fire services.

Investigators had witnessed the recovery of the aircraft, and the removal of the flight recorder.

"The investigation continues," said Gwebu.

Earlier, the Airports Company SA (Acsa) said the plane crashed shortly before taking off for Heathrow Airport.

It said the passengers affected were accommodated overnight at an airport hotel.

"The aircraft has since been moved to a remote location and operations have not been disrupted," said Acsa

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