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British Airways jet with 71 aboard crash-lands

AP  Feb 13, 2009

LONDON – A British Airways passenger jet carrying 71 people crash-landed at London City Airport on Friday evening, scraping across the tarmac after part of its landing gear failed, officials and witnesses said. One person was taken to a hospital with a minor injury.

BA Flight 8456 was flying from Amsterdam to London and the airline said in a statement the four-engine plane's nosewheel failed on landing. Emergency slides were deployed to evacuate the passengers.

British Airways said the Avro 146-RJ100 — made by BAE Systems — was carrying 67 passengers and four crew.

London firefighters said the plane crashed onto the runway around 8 p.m. (2000 GMT, 3 p.m. EST), and ambulance officials reported that four people were treated for minor injuries.

One of the passengers, Justin Fletcher, told the British Broadcasting Corp. that "there was obviously quite a loud bang as the plane scratched in. The stewards and stewardesses were quick to evacuate everyone off. There was a few scrapes and cuts due to hitting the asphalt. All in all everyone seems to be doing quite well now."

London City Airport, in the eastern part of the British capital, is mainly used for domestic and European flights. It handles around 80,000 flights a year, with just over 3 million passengers.

The airport's only runway was closed after the incident. The government sent three investigators to the scene.

The crash-landing in London came a day after a commuter plane nose-dived into a suburban house in upstate New York, killing all 49 people aboard and one person in the home.

British Airways jet with 71 aboard crash-lands
Image via AFP

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