LIMA, Nov 18 (Reuters) – A LATAM Airlines ( LTM.SN ) plane collided with a fire truck on the runway as it took off from the airport in the Peruvian capital Lima on Friday, causing Two firefighters were killed, according to the reporter. .
Peru’s health ministry said at 7:00 p.m. (0000 GMT) that 20 passengers were being treated in a hospital, with at least two in critical condition. The airline said no passengers or crew were killed.
The ministry said 61 people were transferred to nearby hospitals and clinics from Jorge Chavez International Airport. It is not clear whether this was due to injury or caution.
President Pedro Castillo expressed his condolences to the families of the two firefighters in a statement on Twitter, saying he is praying for the recovery of the injured.
It is unclear why the fire engine entered the runway as the plane took off. The prosecutor’s office said that the investigation into this incident was conducted as a possible homicide.
This is the second incident in less than a month that LATAM Airlines has been involved in, after the nose of one of its planes was damaged during a severe storm that forced it to make an emergency landing.
The LATAM Airlines branch in Chile in Peru said that they are using all their resources to attend to the victims, and are working with the authorities to support the investigation.
Videos posted on social media showed the plane colliding with the fire truck as it skidded onto the runway, then bursting into flames and smoking heavily as it came to rest.
“Everyone in the departure hall was scared until we saw that the plane had stopped, and then the fire engine and the ambulance came,” said Mauro Ferreira, a Brazilian waiting for a flight home to Panama, who took pictures of what happened.
“It was very disturbing because we didn’t know how many people were in the plane and the flames were so high.
Lima Airport Partners, which operates Jorge Chavez, Peru’s most important airport, said the airport would be closed until at least 1pm (1800 GMT) on Saturday.
The flight is LA2213, covering the Lima-Juliaca domestic route, LATAM Airlines said.
Report by Marco Aquino in Lima; Additional reporting by Fabian Cambero in Santiago, Marcelo Rochabrun in Lima, Carolina Pulice in Mexico City and Nur-Azna Sanusi in Singapore; Writing by Anthony Esposito, Rosalba O’Brien, Matthew Lewis and William Mallard
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