Another terrifying aircraft accident occurred in Lima, Peru this afternoon (Local Time) when a LATAM Airbus A320neo collided with a fire truck during takeoff. Currently, it is still in an active situation and details remain limited.
Here are the details we have known so far.
LATAM Airbus A320neo Hits Fire Truck During Takeoff
The incident happened on Friday afternoon, November 18, 2022, around 15:13 PM local time. The aircraft registered as CC-BHB, a five-year-old Airbus A320neo, was scheduled to depart Lima Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM) to Juliaca Inca Manco Cápac International Airport (JUL). It was operated by LATAM Airlines LA2213 on a short 90 minutes domestic route.
Everything seems to go as scheduled and normal until the aircraft was about to take off from Lima. Based on the security CCTV video and videos surfacing on the internet, as the aircraft was about to take off, a group of fire trucks and emergency vehicles were about to cross the active runway.
Unfortunately, one of the first trucks could not avoid the incoming LATAM aircraft which was a takeoff speed, collided at the runway, causing the aircraft to veer off the runway with large smoke coming out.
The Cause of the Accident On LATAM LA2212
While the accident is still under investigation, it shows strong evidence that a miscommunication between the tower and the emergency vehicles was the key factor in the accident today.
Multiple videos show the emergency vehicles going at a high speed towards the active runway and nobody seems to make a stop prior to crossing the runway where the LATAM aircraft was about to take off.
It is unclear who misunderstood the permission given either from the air traffic control tower or ground to the emergency vehicles and the pilots. Since both were not supposed to be on the runway at the same time.
Normally, when there is an emergency at the airport, emergency responders are given priority in advance to drive across any active runways. So the question comes down to whether the LATAM pilots were given takeoff clearance, the fire truck drivers were given permission to clear the runway, or the air traffic controller made a mistake.
Another thing that caught my eye is the thrust reverser of the aircraft was activated, meaning the pilots were aware the fire truck was crossing the runway and was doing a ‘Rejected Take-off (RTO)’ before it collided. So this is quite a confusing situation on whose fault it was until the investigation report comes out.
No Casualties On Board The Aircraft But Two Firefighters Were Killed
Although the aircraft was at high speed during the collision, LATAM has confirmed that no one on board was seriously injured or killed but unfortunately, Peru’s Minister of Justice reported that two firefighters who were on the truck were killed.
Lima Jorge Chávez International Airport Is Currently Closed
Since the collision occurred at the airport’s only runway, currently, all flights departing and arriving in Lima have been canceled or are being diverted to other airports. The runway will remain closed until the aircraft and debris are moved away for investigation.
The airport’s flight schedule shows all flights being canceled for another 12 hours but LATAM noticed all the passengers departing and arriving in Lima, there will be disruptions until next Monday and will depend on how fast the runway will be restored.
A terrifying accident happened in Lima, Peru today where a LATAM Airbus A320neo collided with a fire truck while taking off on the runway. During the collision, the fire truck apparently hit the aircraft’s engine and its main landing gear, veering off the runway with a flame.
There were no passengers seriously injured or killed but two firefighters who were in the fire truck were killed during the collision. The accident is now under investigation and as soon as the reports are released, I will update you about this incident.