At Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima, an Airbus A320neo plane carrying 102 people heading for Juliaca in southern Peru collided with a fire vehicle crossing the runway during takeoff on Friday, November 18th, 2022.
Without permission, one of the fire trucks crossed the active runway where LATAM was speeding off to depart the airport. The plane never left the ground as it stopped toward the runway end, colliding with the vehicle. After the impact caused substantial damage to the starboard engine, gear, and wing, the aircraft caught fire. Several footages were posted on the internet showing the aircraft’s right-wing bursting into flames with black fumes.
The incident resulted in the deaths of two firemen and the hospitalization of forty passengers, four of whom were reported as being in “severe condition.”
Authorities in Peru are investigating how the fire vehicle got up on the runway during the takeoff of the LATAM plane. According to the prosecutor’s office in Lima, the occurrence may constitute manslaughter.
LATAM Airlines is assisting investigations and has vowed to give all necessary help to individuals impacted. The accident resulted in the closure of the whole airport in the Peruvian capital, with the government estimating that operations would restart no earlier than 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 19th, 2022 (1800 GMT).