BA 747 wing slices airport

A British Airways 747-400 with 185 passengers and 17 crew followed the wrong taxiway at Johannesburg’s main airport, prior to take-off for London. The pilots had been instructed to use taxiway B but followed a much narrower taxiway M. As a result, its wing sliced into an office building. Debris from the building injured four people on the ground. No one aboard was hurt. All passengers evacuated via slides.

ba 747

Pic tweeted by Harriet Tolputt, a spokesperson for Oxfam.

A kerosene spill from the fully fuelled jumbo was contained by the airport fire services.

NY Daily News

NY Daily News

The 747 has been removed from the office block and its flight recorders recovered for analysis under superviosion of three investigators from the South African CAA


After the Johannesburg impact, Harriet Tolputt, head of media for development charity Oxfam, who was on the plane, posted the first photo above. She said on Twitter that no one was injured, “only the pilot’s pride.”

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  1. @Justin – +1
    I think the real news here was that it was a 747 with only 185 passengers! That aircraft should hold 300. Wasn’t going to be a very profitable flight for BA in the first place…

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