Plane and Fire Truck Collide During Takeoff, Causing The Plane To Explode

An airplane crashed into a fire truck at Peru’s busiest airport while taking off, killing two firefighters.

Latam Airlines’ plane collided with a truck at Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima at 15:30 on Friday.

Social media video shows the plane speeding down the runway, catching fire and smoking as it came to a halt.

The airline said on Twitter that no passengers or crew members were killed.

An executive director of EsSalud hospital agency said a 31-year-old firefighter is in a critical condition.

A total of 20 passengers are being treated for injuries, of which two are considered serious, according to the Health Ministry of Peru.

Juliaca, a city in the southern part of Peru, is the destination of the plane that was taking off when the fire truck entered the runway.

In a news conference, Latam CEO Manuel Van Oordt announced that the flight had been cleared to take off.

“I don’t know why [the fire truck] was there,” he said. “We didn’t request their services.”

According to Reuters, the prosecutors’ office is investigating the incident as potential manslaughter.

Airlines at Jorge Chávez Airport have been suspended until Saturday afternoon by Lima Airport Partners (LAP).

Several flights due to land there have been diverted to Colombia, Panama, and Peruvian cities, including Iquitos, Pisco, and Arequipa.

In a statement, LAP said: “At this time, we are finding and investigating all the necessary factors to determine the cause of this.”

A social media tribute was paid to the firefighters by President Pedro Castillo.

“My sincere condolences go out to the families of Angel Torres and Nicolás Santa Gadea, brave firefighters who died in the accident,” he wrote on Twitter.

“My thoughts and my prayers are with them. I pray for the recovery of the wounded.”