A freak accident in Lima, Peru that saw a fire truck collide with a LATAM Airbus A320-200 on an active runway has resulted in the death of two firemen, although all passengers and crewmembers onboard survived.
Fire Truck Strikes LATAM A320-200, Killing Two
Let’s first breakdown what happened on Friday afternoon at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima.
Per the Aviation Herald:
- The aircraft involved was a LATAM Chile Airbus A320-200 (registration CC-BHB), operating flight LA2213 from Lima (LIM) to Juliaca, Peru (JUL)
- 102 passengers and 6 crew members were onboard
- The flight accelerated for takeoff from runway 16 at about 3:11 pm
- At that moment, multiple fire trucks with flashing lights and sirens sounding rolled across the runway directly in front of the accelerating aircraft
- While the crew tried to halt the takeoff, the aircraft was already traveling at 125 knots it was unable to avoid contact with the third fire truck
- To make matters worse, the fire truck turned toward the aircraft in a desperate attempt to avoid the plane, making the impact worse
- The impact caused the right main gear to collapse, sending the aircraft to veer right toward the right edge of the runway
- A fire erupted around the right-hand engine
- All passengers and crew onboard were able to evacuate the aircraft
- Four passengers were seriously injured and 36 passengers reported minor injuries
- The aircraft sustained substantial damage and the fire truck was destroyed.
- Two firefighters onboard the fire truck died and the third sustained serious injury (a skull fracture and severe head trauma that may leave him with life-long disabilities)
| URGENTE: Se incendia un avión de Latam al momento del aterrizaje en el aeropuerto internacional Jorge Chávez de Lima.
— Alerta News 24 (@AlertaNews24) November 18, 2022
Video suggests that multiple airport fire service vehicles crossed the active runway 16 immediately before the accelerating A320. One truck collided with the right engine+ wing resulting in a fire and a gear collapse. pic.twitter.com/1hvom3HYSg
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) November 18, 2022
— (@Mario_Moray) November 18, 2022
Human error is often at the root of collisions and human error on the part of the firefighters was certainly to blame here. The rescue vehicles may have been performing a drill because it is not clear why they entered the runway.
The runway is closed until at least this afternoon as investigates try to piece together the puzzle. Manslaughter charges are being considered, though the focus now is on understanding how this happened in the first place.
A freak crash on a runway at Lima’s main international airport has left two firemen dead and a third critically injured and also rendered an Airbus A320 potentially no longer fit for service. Thankfully, no passengers or crewmembers onboard the flight were injured.
— Enrique Varsi-Rospigliosi (@enriquevarsi) November 18, 2022