Plane, car collide on runway

2007-12-30 20:25

Bucharest - A Romanian passenger plane and a car collided on a runway at Bucharest airport on Sunday, but no one was hurt in the incident, airport officials said.

"This was a serious incident in which the plane was damaged," said Valentin Iordache, a spokesperson for Bucharest's Otopeni airport.

The Tarom airline Boeing 737-300 struck the car which was checking on runway lighting as visibility was poor due to thick fog.

"A disaster was avoided thanks to the crew's professionalism," said Tarom's managing director Gheorghe Barla.

The 120 passengers who were headed for Egypt were evacuated via chutes.

The transport ministry ordered an investigation to establish why the privately owned car was on the runway.

Barla said the vehicle had been "forgotten" and the control tower did not know about it.

The Realitatea TV network showed footage of the plane's broken landing gear.