2 Commercial Planes Collide at London’s Largest Airport Just Before Take-Off

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
September 29UKshare
2 Commercial Planes Collide at London’s Largest Airport Just Before Take-Off
Grounded commercial planes sit on the tarmac at London's Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 in west London on Sept. 9, 2019. (Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images)

Two passenger planes collided with each other late on Wednesday on the tarmac while taxiing shortly before take-off at London’s Heathrow Airport, sparking an emergency response, the airport said.

Heathrow confirmed to local media that the incident between two commercial aircraft happened around 8 p.m. local time on Sept. 28 and involved Icelandair and Korean Air aircraft, noting that the accident wasn’t a “full-on” collision.

“Emergency services are attending an incident involving two aircraft on the airfield,” a spokesman for the airport said, the Daily Mail reported. “No injuries have been reported but emergency services are attending to ensure all passengers and crew are safe and well.”

Airport Webcams, the world’s largest database of live airport footage, said on Twitter that the Korean Air Boeing 777-300ER HL7782 “clipped the tail” of the Icelandair Boeing 757-200 TF-FIK while taxiing on the airport’s tarmac.

A picture that was shared on Twitter by “LondonPlaneSpotting” shows considerable damage done to the Icelandair’s tail by the Korean Air’s wing.

The Korean Air flight was scheduled to leave London shortly after 7:30 p.m. local time to Seoul, Korea.

Passengers aboard the commercial planes shared on social media what they experienced.

“I’m on the flight they are blocking. We were taxiing to the runway and then suddenly got stopped by all these emergency services. We are now being told we are returning to the gate due to a technical issue,” Richard said on Twitter.

In a separate post, Richard said he was watching out the window while taxiing when he believed the plane suddenly “scrapped [sic] another [plane] with our wing tip.”

Another passenger aboard the Korean Air flight told the Daily Star “there is no chance this flight is taking off tonight.”

NTD Photo
Korean Air planes are parked on the tarmac at Gimpo domestic airport in Seoul, South Korea, on Sept. 2, 2020. (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP via Getty Images)

“I was watching out the window thinking we were awful close to the tail for a parked plane,” the eyewitness told the publication. “And then it looked like we grazed it.”

“The captain hasn’t really told us much except we are going back to the gate due to a technical issue,” the passenger said, adding that the last announcement from the captain “was about 45 mins ago.”

Emergency services, including the London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service (LAS), rushed to the scene. A video on social media shows a number of emergency service vehicles with blue lights flashing on the tarmac.

An LAS spokesman told the Daily Star that they were called at 8:06 p.m. local time about an incident that happened at London’s Heathrow Airport.

“We sent a number of resources to the scene including members of our Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), a clinical team leader, a cycle responder and an incident response officer,” the spokesman said.

“We attended a reception center for passengers but nobody required treatment or needed to be taken to hospital.”