The British Airways plane that was stranded at OR Tambo International Airport early Monday afternoon after leaving Port Elizabeth “experienced an unusual vibration which was followed shortly by the collapse of the left landing gear”.
That’s according to Comair, who confirmed in a statement that the incident involving Boeing 737-400, registration ZS-OAA experienced a failure with its landing gear shortly after touching down on the runway.
It said the aircraft was on the runway for a short period performing standard landing procedures when the crew noticed the “unusual vibration”.
Airports Company SA emergency services were notified and responded to the scene immediately, helping passengers and crew to safely disembark. No one was injured. “The aircraft is currently on runway 03R and Comair and the relevant authorities are onsite making the necessary arrangements for the removal of the aircraft.”
Due to safety and security reasons, the runway has been closed.
The British Airways flight, BA 6234, left Port Elizabeth at 10:35 with six crew and 94 passengers on board and arrived in Johannesburg just past noon.
Earlier, Comair said it and the relevant authorities would conduct an investigation into what caused the gear failure.
Speaking to Traveller24, passenger Warren Mann who was on board at the time of the accident, said the pilot made an announcement after the plane had landed, informing passengers that the “left landing gear had broken off”.
“This caused the plane to hit the runway at an angle. We could see sparks as the left wing and the engines were scraped across the runway,” Mann told Traveller24.
“The wing seemed completely broken off.
“We were met by fire and rescue [officials] who continued to spray the plane and we then disembarked via an emergency staircase,” Mann said.
Adam Wakefield, News24
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