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Plane Collides With Tug Vehicle On Charlotte Airport

International Business Times logo International Business Times 9/14/2017 Pritha Paul

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An American Airlines flight which landed at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, North Carolina, collided with a tug vehicle on the tarmac on Wednesday which injured the driver of the vehicle and caused Terminal E of the airport to close down.

The incident occurred after Flight #5233 of the American Airlines flying in from Charleston, West Virginia, landed at the airport at 3:40 p.m. EDT. While pulling into Gate E35, it collided with a tug vehicle on a ramp near Terminal E.

According to NBC affiliate WCNC, there were 31 passengers and three crew members on the plane at the time. One of them took the following photo of the crash and shared it on social media. As seen in the picture, the wing which crashed into the tug vehicle was damaged.

While none of the people present on the flight at the time were harmed, the woman who was driving the tug vehicle at the time had to be hospitalized.  However, she is in a stable condition. According to multiple witnesses present on the scene, the female driver made a sharp turn while steering the vehicle and as a result collided with the plane’s wing.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) who is investigating the incident, said in a statement: “PSA Airlines 5223, CL600-2B aircraft, and a tug collided on the north ramp at Charlotte Douglas International Airport at 4:35 pm today. The collision occurred while the aircraft was taxiing to the gate after landing. The aircraft and tug are blocking several gates.”

“The fire department, along with medical personnel, responded immediately, and the tug driver was transported to the hospital in stable condition,” American Airlines said in a statement, Patch reported. Customers should expect some residual flight delays for regional flights departing and arriving Charlotte.

Flights which were scheduled to take off from the terminal were also delayed due to the “serious incident” at the airport. YouTuber and author Chris Strub were on one of the American Airlines flights that were delayed following the incident at the airport.

According to his stream of tweets, the airlines gave the passengers the “option to deplane” after the incident at the airport. Many of the flights which were scheduled to depart from Gate E35 had to be delayed due to the emergency services gathered at the scene.

North part of Terminal E is expected to remain closed until the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board complete their investigation.

American Airlines was also forced to cancel thousands of flights between Sept. 7 and Sept. 11 due to Hurricane Irma that wrecked the Caribbean Islands before weakening and moving toward Florida and other parts of the United States. 

A number of flights flying out from the North Caroline to Tampa and Orlando were canceled due to severe weathering conditions. The airlines said in a statement to Global News that it will continue to “evaluate operations at other Florida airports, including Sarasota and Tampa, and will make adjustments as necessary.”

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