Four people were hospitalized Friday night after a passenger bus and an airplane crashed into each other on the runway of Los Angeles International Airport.
The incident happened around 10 p.m. as an American Airlines A321 jet was being towed toward a parking area when it ran into a passenger bus, leaving five injured.
“A jet being towed tonight from a gate to a parking area made contact with a shuttle bus, resulting in injuries to about 5 people. We thank our partners @LAFD for quickly responding and treating passengers from the bus. Other LAX operations remain normal,” the LAX Airport said on Twitter.
A jet being towed tonight from a gate to a parking area made contact with a shuttle bus, resulting in injuries to about 5 people. We thank our partners @LAFD for quickly responding and treating passengers from the bus. Other LAX operations remain normal.
— LAX Airport (@flyLAXairport) February 11, 2023
According to the L.A. Fire Department, the crash occurred at “low-speed.” The department added that four individuals had been hospitalized while a fifth individual had minor injuries that did not require hospitalization. The plane had no travelers on board, according to American Airlines.
“The tug driver was transported in moderate condition, the bus driver and two passengers were transported in fair condition, and the sole person aboard the plane (worker) was treated, but declined transport. No further information,” the fire department said.
The cause of the crash, which resulted in no major delays at the airport, is still being investigated, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has also stepped in to try to figure out what happened.
In January, over 38,000 people hailing from 41 countries flew threw LAX, making it one of the busiest airports in the world. In 2021, well over 21 million people flew through the airport, according to airport statistics.
Friday’s collision follows another near-disastrous crash last week in Austin, Texas, where a FedEx 767 and Southwest Airlines 737 nearly smashed into each other, coming as close as 100 feet.
Jennifer Homendy, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, told CNN that the two planes had been designated the same runway when the FedEx workers “realized that they were overflying the Southwest plane.”
The FedEx plane, which was supposed to be landing, had to pull up and circle around the airport to avoid crashing into the Southwest plane, which had been slated to take off from the same runway. Homendy credited the FedEx pilot with noticing the conflict and taking action to avoid a crash.
“I’m very proud of the FedEx flight crew and that pilot,” Homendy said. “They saved, in my view, 128 people from a potential catastrophe.”