Who left the hand-brake off? Investigation under way after Ryanair plane rolls backwards and crashes into airport building, destroying tail wingPosted: June 6, 2014
- 737-800 was parked at Rome Ciampino Airport when it started to roll
- Aeroplane, which had no passengers on board, smashed into fire station
- Budget airline claims ground staff had not secured aircraft properly
- Witness called it ‘surreal moment’ and saw ‘bits of metal hanging from plane’
A Ryanair plane has been left with £200,000 worth of damage to its rear stabiliser after it rolled backwards 40 metres crashing into an airport fire station.
The force of the impact tore apart the ‘tail wing’ of the £72m Boeing 737 at Rome Ciampino Airport yesterday.
The accident happened shortly after the aircraft, which has been grounded, landed and passengers had disembarked.
This is the damaged caused to a Ryanair plane after it rolled 40 metres into a fire station at Rome’s Ciampino airport, causing more than £200,000 worth of damage
No one was on board the aircraft when the incident happened, according to a spokesman for Ryanair who said the aeroplane was parked but had not been properly secured.
Witness said the plane suddenly began to roll backwards and smashed into the garage of the fire station at the airport causing external damage there as well.
One witness told MailOnline Travel: ‘It was surreal to watch. This big heavy jet just started to roll backwards gathering speed until it crashed into the garage of the airport fire station.
‘The whole thing only lasted a matter of seconds but the noise as it smashed into the building was terrific. It was grinding metal and the damage was quite severe.
‘The guttering on the building was ripped off and wires and bits of metal were hanging off the plane.
Damaged: The 737-800 plane was not properly secured on landing, and so began to roll backwards. Nobody was on board at the time, according to a Ryanair spokesman
‘It’s a good job no one was standing by the garage or driving past as the plane would have slammed into them.’
Usually when a plane is parked stationary at an airport brakes are applied and chocks positioned against the wheels to prevent it rolling backwards or forwards.
The area where the incident happened is slightly uphill and close to the main terminal which is used by millions of passengers, many of them British, every year.
Ryanair, which was recently voted the UK’s worst airline, blamed the ground handling agent for the incident.
Robin Kiely said: ‘Ryanair has asked the ground handling agent (Groundcare) to investigate why it failed to properly secure a Ryanair aircraft at Rome Ciampino Airport yesterday.
‘The parked and unoccupied aircraft rolled back and made contact with a remote building damaging its rear stabiliser.
‘This is currently being replaced and the aircraft will shortly return to service.’
Incident: Tourists leaving a Ryanair plane at Ciampino airport (file image)
A spokesman for Ciampino airport said: ‘We are investigating the cause of the incident and whether proper procedures were followed.
‘We are aware of reports that chocks were not in place and that’s why the police have also been involved and a criminal investigation is also under way.
‘Until that is completed there is nothing else to say.’
Groundcare, which was unavailable for comment, is currently on strike at the airport, forcing Ryanair to cancel flights.
The damaged plane was out of service due to the strikes, which have seen Ryanair flights delayed today.
Passengers at Rome’s second airport are facing long lines and flight cancellations because of the wildcat strike by baggage handlers.
The unannounced strike began Wednesday morning at Ciampino, a hub for Ryanair and other budget airlines.
About 850 workers of Groundcare, one of seven private companies that handle unloading baggage and cargo at Rome airports, are striking to recover back pay. Groundcare recently filed for bankruptcy protection.
Ciampino was paralysed by the dispute, and airport employees passed out water and hotel information to frustrated, stranded customers during the peak tourist season in Rome.
Flights were cancelled into Wednesday evening. Italy’s civil aviation authorities were meeting with Groundcare and the workers to try to resolve the dispute.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2649525/Investigation-way-Ryanair-plane-rolls-backwards-crashes-airport-building-destroying-tail-wing.html#ixzz33r9mykt3
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