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British Airways plane strikes Johannesburg airport building

Johannesburg, Dec 23, 2013 (AFP)
View from on board a plane that crashed into a building at Johannesburg Airport Photo: Harriet Tolputt (@HarrietTolputt)

A British Airways airplane carrying 202 people has struck an office building at Johannesburg's O R Tambo International Airport with its wing while taxiing for take-off, injuring four, aviation authorities said.

The Boeing 747-400 en route for London Heathrow Airport yesterday took a taxiway that was too narrow for it, said South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokeswoman Phindiwe Gwebu today.

"This resulted in the aircraft's right-hand wing impacting the office building," she told AFP.The control tower "told them to take one taxiway and they took another one. They took a wrong one," said Gwebu.

Four people inside the building were injured, but the 185 passengers and 17 crew on board were unharmed during the late-night accident, according to the CAA.

No further information on the injured was immediately available.

An airport spokeswoman confirmed the incident.

A photo taken by a passenger from the cabin showed the aircraft's giant wing wedged into a quarter of the length of the small building.

Harriet Tolputt, head of media for international humanitarian organisation Oxfam, posted the pictures to Twitter.

"BA plane crashes into building at J Burg airport. No one injured only the pilot's pride," she posted, complaining that first-class passengers were evacuated before the rest.
The stuck plane had still not been able to take off by today morning. The CAA did not say what plans had been made for the stranded passengers.


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