Boeing 777 Crash Lands at Heathrow
A British Airways 777 passenger jet from Beijing crash-landed at Heathrow airport; all 136 passengers and 16 crew have been evacuated. Though six people were reportedly injured and taken to hospital, only one is being held overnight for observation. One person suffered a broken leg.
According to a radio interview (BBC 6Music) the passengers had no idea they were about to crash. They apparently thought everything was fine and it was just a bumpy landing until the oxygen masks dropped down.
Another anonymous source with friends at BA says the airline thinks it had something to do with a catastrophic failure of the
flight control systems, which caused a last minute failure of auto pilot, forcing the plane out of trim and making the pilots do a last minute take-over.
UPDATE 1: New BBC story says the plane lost all power and the pilot had to glide it in. Wow.
UPDATE 2: Sky News is providing live video updates of the story.
UPDATE 3: From the New York Times: The airport's still paralyzed, which means international air travel is going to be a nightmare today. Not only that, but travel might be affected into Friday and the weekend as airlines struggle to catch up.
— A British Airways passenger jet crash-landed just short of a runway
at London’s Heathrow airport on Thursday, plowing a way across open
grassland before skidding to a halt when it hit the tarmac with parts
of its undercarriage torn off. [/q]From the BBC:
Six people have been taken to hospital suffering minor injuries, reports say.
The incident happened as Prime Minister Gordon Brown was due to leave Heathrow for China and India. His flight was delayed because of the incident.
Downing Street said at about 1430 GMT that Gordon Brown had taken off.
The south runway is closed while investigators examine the scene - the north runway remains open.
Eyewitness John Rowland said: "The plane's wheels collapsed, doors were flown open.
"On its approach it took the runway too low, just missing the roof of my cab.
"It crashed into the runway, debris was flying everywhere, there was an enormous bang and it skidded sideways."
BA has set up a helpline for anyone concerned about friends or relatives: 0800 3894193
BA said the cabin crew had done an "excellent job" evacuating passengers, and that it would release more information as soon as it was available.
A telephone helpline has been set up for anyone concerned about friends or relatives on 0800 3894193.
Chief executive of BA Willie Walsh said he was "very proud" of the crew.
Fernando Pardo was a passenger on the plane itself. He told the BBC there was "no sign whatsoever of any trouble until we touched the ground".
"It was so quick that you could not even realise what exactly happened. There was no panic at all," Mr Pardo said.
Huge amount of smoke
Another eyewitness, Nick Gray, told BBC News: "We were taxiing along ready to take off and certainly out of the window I could see a plane coming in to land.
"I'm not quite sure if the undercarriage was missing or not, but certainly what we saw was the plane coming down.
than 20 planes flying into the UK also had to be diverted to other
airports around London after one runway at Heathrow was closed while
emergency services worked on the stricken aircraft.
Such was the disruption that further delays could not be ruled out for Friday as airlines tried to catch up with the backlog.
A spokesman for the airport operator BAA confirmed that 222 flights
to and from the airport - mainly short haul - had been cancelled.[/q]There are notices posted on the various airline websites.
We can confirm that flight
BA038, a Boeing 777 arriving from Beijing, carried out an emergency
landing at Heathrow Airport today at 12.42. Heathrow’s emergency
services attended the scene. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch is
attending the scene.