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British Airways Airbus A320 Narrowly Avoids Major Damage After Airstairs Catch Fire During Hottest Day of the Year

British Airways Airbus A320 Narrowly Avoids Major Damage After Airstairs Catch Fire During Hottest Day of the Year

a plane crashed into a runway and a plane crashed into a runway

A British Airways Airbus A320 at Heathrow Airport narrowly avoided major damage after a set of airstairs parked at the back of the aircraft burst into flames as Britain basked in a heatwave during the hottest day of the year so far.

The 11-year-old aircraft had just arrived at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 following a three-hour flight from Athens and was being prepped for its next flight of the day when the accident occurred.

It appears that a set of mobile airstairs that is used by a contracted cleaning company burst into flames after the stairs had already been attached to the rear set of doors.

According to eyewitnesses, ground workers had already boarded the plane and were busy cleaning the inside when they noticed smoke and quickly exit the aircraft via the airstairs.

Thankfully, one of the cleaners had the foresight to close the cabin door as the flames and smoke grew in intensity.

Heathrow’s on-site fire department rushed to the scene and quickly extinguished the fire before the flames reached the aircraft. The plane was, however, still taken out of service so that engineering checks can be completed.

Photos shared on social media showed what appeared to smoke damage to the underside of the plane’s fuselage, although this may only be cosmetic.

In a statement, British Airways confirmed that there were no passengers onboard the plane at the time of the accident, saying: “Emergency services quickly extinguished a small fire of a third party ground vehicle. No customers were impacted, and there were no injuries.”

Last Thursday, an Air France 777 at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport also narrowly avoided significant damage after a pushback tug burst into flames while it was still attached to the aircraft.

The pushback tug driver initially evacuated the cab before heroically trying to uncouple the tug from the aircraft and moving it to safety. In the end, the airport fire department arrived at the scene before the driver could move the tug and quickly extinguished the flames.

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