Thursday, January 17, 2008

British Airways crash landing and evacuation at Heathrow

A British Airways flight arriving at London's Heathrow Airport (LHR) from Beijing crash landed at LHR early this afternoon, local time. There were 136 passengers and 16 crew on board the B777-236ER, operating as BA Flight 38. No one was seriously injured, but the aircraft was severely damaged. There was no fire.

Early reports suggest that the aircraft lost power on final approach. The aircraft landed hard on the grass inside the airport's perimeter fence, and skidded several hundred meters before coming to a stop near the threshold of runway 27L. All passengers and crew evacuated the aircraft using emergency slides. There were reports of minor injuries to several people.

Several news media outlets interviewed passengers who were on the flight. They said there was no warning from the crew, and that most people did not realize that the plane had landed short of the runway until it had come to a stop. The cabin crew carried out the unplanned evacuation immediately, and without further incident.

Click here to view a video of a BBC News interview with some passengers from BA Flight 38.

Mr. Willie Walsh, the CEO of British Airways, praised the crew's actions in a statement to the press. Part of his statement is included in this video posted on YouTube by the Associated Press.



(If the video does not play or display properly, click here to view it on YouTube.)

Congratulations to the crew of BA Flight 38 for a job well done.

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