747-400 hits airport building – 4 injured

A British Airways airplane carrying 202 people collided an office building while taxiing for take off at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday, civil aviation authorities reported. Its right wing struck the building.

The 747-400 was preparing to fly to London Heathrow Airport and apparently took a taxiway that was not wide enough for its wingspan, said a South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokeswoman.

“This resulted in the aircraft’s right-hand wing impacting the office building,”.

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 Monday morning. The CAA did not say what plans had been made for the stranded passengers.

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