Heathrow Crash Investigation Begins Amidst Rumors
A British Airways Boeing 777 inbound from Bejing with 136 passengers and 16 crew aboard crashed Thursday short of the runway at Heathrow Airport, injuring roughly 18 of those aboard. Early reports from credible sources are few. Witnesses claimed the flight's approach was lower than normal and that the aircraft banked steeply before clearing a road and fence and touching. One early report states that an airport worker spoke with the flight's pilot who told him the aircraft lost power 20 seconds prior to landing. "He told me the aircraft shut down," the worker told ThisIsLondon.co.uk, "He glided it across and managed to get the nose up." At the time of this writing, The Air Accidents Investigation Branch had not yet made any official announcements or checked the aircraft's flight data or voice recorders for evidence. Potential causal factors still include all possibilities -- including wind shear or a bird strike. More than 650 Boeing 777 aircraft are in service and none have been lost to a crash since the aircraft first flew in 1995. The crash aircraft came to rest on the approach end of its intended runway -- Heathrow's south runway. Visible damage included the shedding of undercarriage and damage to the wings, fuselage, engines on which the aircraft came to rest. More than 200 aircraft were delayed by the incident.