A320 Collides With Fire Truck In Lima (Updated)


Two Lima, Peru, airport firefighters were killed and another injured Friday when a LATAM Airlines A320neo hit a fire truck that entered the runway as it was taking off. According to Flightradar24 the aircraft was nearing V1 and going 127 knots when it slammed into the truck, collapsing the right main gear, shearing off the engine on that side and piercing the fuel tank. The aircraft was heavily damaged but there were no serious injuries among the passengers and crew.

The truck was apparently leading others in a drill to test response times to a new runway that is scheduled to open in January. Peruvian officials told a news conference the truck was not cleared to enter the runway. “In the audios that we have, there was clearly no authorization for any vehicle to enter the runway,” said Jorge Salinas, president of the country’s aeronautical agency, Corpac. “This case was a runway incursion. We do not know why it happened, if the cause was human, mechanical or of nature? That is being investigated. Let’s not speculate.”

The aircraft’s momentum carried it hundreds of yards down the runway before it came to a stop and the fuel ignited a major fire. Fortunately, at least one following fire truck was right there and was able to attack the flames immediately.

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  1. Another news source quoted a Peruvian official saying there was no emergency on the field.

    In the video, one pax is saying ‘it wasn’t my turn today (to die)’ he points out he was strung by the part of the plane with the burnt area.

    RIP to the two firefighters

  2. I have heard atc ground freq audio recordings and it seems ARFFs were practicing response time due to a new ARFF building facility as reported by news media. What I was unable to catch was whether ARFF was knowledgeable they were not to enter the runway or not. There is a video from inside post crash were you can hear excellent cabin crew commanding pax to leave luggage and stop opening overhead bins prior to evacuating. Must have been a quite a sight for pilots to see a truck coming at them while unable to nothing but try to maintain aircraft control and see what happens in a matter of seconds. This could have gone much worse if that truck hit the fuselage and not the engine plus wing.

  3. The first thing that came to mind was unfamiliarity with the airport layout. Jorge Chavez Intl has a single runway, with more-or-less diagonal taxiways to get to & from the parallel taxiway and the terminal. As stated, a new runway is scheduled to be opened in January, so that means new taxiways etc. It’s possible the driver somehow did not realize he was entering a runway if the layout is all new and different. RIP firefighters.

  4. In addition to myself being a Pilot, Aircraft Owner since 1976, I was also USAF ANG, and a civilian Police Officer and Firefighter for 38 years. Back in the 1990’s, I worked with an Airport CFR Firefighter who worked for 25 years as a Firefighter for a major Airport Authority in the NYC area. He himself, was crewing onboard an Oshkosh apparatus returning from an actual response to an aircraft engine fire, when his truck was hit by the outer wing of a DC-7 that was on its landing roll out back in the day. He showed me the New York City area newspaper articles with photos. Thankfully no one killed. However, he and other Firefighters did receive head injuries but recovered. That incident, too, was the result of a runway incursion with mis understood communication between TWR Ground and the Crash, Fire Rescue Vehicle. So, these types of mishaps do unfortunately occur as we know- all too many times.