Lima, Peru — A LATAM Airlines plane taking off from Lima International Airport hit a fire engine on the runway and caught fire on Friday. Authorities said the plane’s passengers and crew were safe, but two firefighters in the truck were killed.
Lima Airport Partners, the company that operates Jorge Chavez International Airport, said in a tweet that operations at the facility had been suspended. There were 102 passengers and six crew members on board the Airbus A320neo.
“Our teams are providing the necessary care to all passengers, who are in good condition,” the company said.
Two firefighters were killed and another injured when the plane collided with the truck they were traveling in, Luis Ponce La Jara, the chief in chief of the fire department, said. Both the plane and the fire engine were moving when they collided.
President Pedro Castillo expressed his condolences to the families of the firefighters in a tweet.
Flight LA2213 was taking off from Lima’s main airport en route to Juliaca, Peru.
Videos on social media showed smoke billowing from a large plane on the runway.
LATAM Airlines said it regretted the deaths of the firefighters and would provide flexibility to reprogram flights for affected passengers at no additional cost. But she said she did not know why the fire engine was on the tarmac.
He said, “No emergency was reported on the flight. It was a flight that was in the best conditions for take off, had clearance to take off and ran into a truck on the runway and we don’t know what the truck was doing there.” Manuel Van Oordt, General Manager, LATAM Peru Airlines. “We have to investigate and prove why it is there.”
The public prosecutor’s office in Callao, where the airport is located, said an investigation into the cause of the accident had been launched.
According to the fire department, the accident was recorded at 3:25 pm and four rescue units were mobilized.
Aviation authorities said operations at Jorge Chavez International Airport were suspended until 1 p.m. local time on Saturday. Flights will be direct to other airports in the meantime.
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