Runway collision in Peru kills two firefighters

Latam Airlines aircraft hit a fire engine during taking off at Lima airport

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Two firefighters were killed on Friday when a Latam Airlines jet collided with a fire engine on the runway while taking off from the airport in Peru's capital Lima.

Peru's Health Ministry said 20 passengers were being treated in a clinic and at least two were in serious condition. The airline said no passengers or crew members were killed.

The ministry said 61 people were taken to clinics and hospitals after the crash at Jorge Chavez International Airport. It was not clear whether this was due to injury or as a precaution.

President Pedro Castillo expressed his condolences to the families of the two firefighters and said he was praying for the recovery of those injured.

It was unclear why the fire engine entered the runway while the plane was taking off.

The prosecutors' office said it regarded the incident as potential manslaughter.

Flight LA2213, covering the domestic Lima-Juliaca route, the airlines said.

This is the second incident in less than a month involving Latam Airlines.

One of the Chilean carrier's planes made an emergency landing in October after its nose was destroyed during a severe storm.

The airline's Peru branch said it would use all of its resources to help those affected by the latest crash and to support the authorities in their investigation.

Video posted on social media showed the jet colliding with the fire engine and catching fire as it ground to a halt.

"Everyone in the departure lounge was apprehensive until we saw the plane stopped, and then the fire engines and ambulances arrived," said Mauro Ferreira, a Brazilian waiting to board a flight home to Panama.

He filmed the incident. "It was a harrowing feeling because we didn't know how many people were inside the plane and the flames were very tall," he said.

Lima Airport Partners, which operates Jorge Chavez airport, said the site would be closed until at least through 1pm on Saturday.

Updated: November 19, 2022, 8:49 AM
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