In what might be the most consequential error in their career, the flight crew of British Airways Flight 34 appears to have taken the wrong taxiway while maneuvering for takeoff from Johannesburg's's OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday night. A statement from the South African Civil Aviation Authority said it had confirmed "that the air crew got instructions from the Air Traffic Control to taxi using taxi way B. The crew continued onto taxi way M which is narrower resulting in the aircraft impacting on an office building behind the SAA Technical hangers."
Harriet Tolputt, a passenger on the flight and the head of media (as luck would have it) for the British charity consortium Oxfam, the right wing is seen deeply embedded in a brick structure outside of the security fence at the airport. Note the worker in high-visibility vest taking a look at the situation while passengers are still onboard the aircraft.
|JoBerg Airport view from pprune.org|
|Photo courtesy British Airways|
Phindiwe Gwebu a spokeswoman for the aviation authority said four people working in the technical hangar of South African Airways were injured when the leading edge of the wing came plowing through the wall. Though there was some fuel spilled as a result of the event, none of the 17 crew members or 185 passengers were hurt during the emergency evacuation on the taxiway.