A LATAM Airlines plane taking off from Lima’s international airport collided with a fire truck on the runway and burst into flames on Friday. Officials said that all the passengers and crew of the plane were safe, but two firefighters in the truck were killed.
Lima Airport Partners, the company that operates Jorge Chavez International Airport, said in a tweet that operations at the facility had been suspended. The Airbus A320neo was carrying 102 passengers and six crew members.
“Our teams are providing necessary care to all passengers, who are in good condition,” the company said.
Fire Department General Commander Luis Ponce La Jara said two firefighters were killed and one was injured when the plane hit the plane while they were in a truck. Both the plane and the fire truck were in motion at the time of the collision.
President Pedro Castillo expressed his condolences to the families of the firefighters in a tweet.
Flight LA2213 was departing from Lima’s main airport via Juliaca, Peru.
Videos that have gone viral on social media show smoke billowing from a large plane on the runway.
LATAM Airlines said it regretted the deaths of the firefighters and would offer affected passengers the flexibility to reschedule flights at no additional cost. But he said it was not known why the fire truck was on the runway.
“There was no emergency reported on the flight. It was a flight that was in perfect conditions to take off. It was cleared to take off and it encountered a truck on the runway and we don’t know if the truck was there. What were you doing?” Manuel van Oordt, General Manager of LATAM Airlines Peru. “We have to investigate and find out why it was there.”
The prosecutor’s office in Callao, where the airport is located, said an investigation into the cause of the crash had been launched.
According to the fire department, the incident was registered at 3:25 pm and four rescue units were mobilized.
Operations at Jorge Chavez International Airport were suspended until 1 p.m. local time on Saturday, aviation officials said. Meanwhile, flights to other airports will be direct.