Glasgow Airport saw flights being grounded after a British Airways aircraft collided with a vehicle on the runway. The crash had resulted in a delay that lasted for two hours. A similar incident occurred in June 2017, where an EasyJet flight collided with a baggage loader resulting in a 4 hour delay.
Incoming flights had to be diverted towards Glasgow Prestwick Airport and emergency services had to be called in. It is reported that they arrived at around 8:45 PM.
As for the cause of the collision, it is believed that the likely suspect could have been ice. The vehicle most likely went into a skid because of the ice and pushed into the aircraft while it was on the runway. In fact, crews reported that they faced a hard time trying to tackle the frozen surfaces.
Scotland’s winter temperatures have dropped well below zero, leading to roads and other surfaces developing a layer of ice.
According to a spokesperson from Glasgow Airport, the vehicle that collided with the aircraft is believed to be a tug. Tugs are low-profile vehicles that are used for pushbacks (pushing aircrafts away from the gate in a backwards direction).
The airport’s spokesperson stated that there was still no clear idea as to exactly how the crash occurred. However, it is likely that the tug must have gone into a skid while carrying out the pushback. There is also a chance that the aircraft could have entered into a skid as well.
But, the aircraft was found to be stationary when the crash occurred. Emergency services rushed to the scene and flights had to be diverted and even suspended. Runways and taxiways also had to be cleared.
At around the 3:03 AM, Glasgow Airport sent out a tweet announcing delays due to the de-icing of taxiways and stands.
Passengers who had been caught up due to the delay also took to social media. One passenger named June O’Hagen tweeted that she and her daughter were stuck on their EasyJet flight to Glasgow due to the accident. However, she wrongly mentioned it as an accident with a fireman.
Another passenger tweeted that she “risked her life” to catch her flight to Glasgow but was forced to deal with a 3-hour delay that resulted from the runway crash. She ended her tweet with a “Happy Black Friday!!!”
A third passenger claimed that an ambulance had been called in after a firefighter slipped and fell. However, there were no official reports of this happening.
A passenger name Steven Maloney tweeted that he was on an Emirates flight that was scheduled to take off at around 20:50 but was delayed due to the incident. He mentioned that the tug had been driven into the plane. However, reports indicate that it was most likely an accidental skid.
He also claimed that a fireman had been injured, but, once again, it was not possible to determine if this was factual.
Thankfully, there were no reports of serious injuries or casualties due to the incident. The issue was eventually solved and the airport resumed regular operations at around 10:15 PM.