British Airways jumbo wing slices through building

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December 24, 2013

South Africa’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has reported that a Boeing 747-400 operating flight BA34 from Johannesburg to London Heathrow, impacted an office building after turning onto the wrong taxiway.

The crew of BA34 was instructed to use taxiway B but followed the narrower taxiway M, causing the wing to slice through the office building.  

According to ACSA, the airport authority operating Johannesburg’s Tambo International Airport, about 6 meters of the right hand wing tip sliced through about 20 meters of the building.

The impact effectively separated the roof from the building causing substantial damage to both the building and the aircraft. A kerosene spill from the fully fuelled jumbo was contained by the airport fire services.

Four ground staff in the building suffered minor injuries. All 202 passengers and crew were evacuated and put up in hotels.

Harriet Tolputt, head of media for charity Oxfam was on the plane and posted a photo on social media showing the wing embedded into the the two-story building. She said on Twitter that no one was injured, “only the pilot’s pride.”