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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007, 13:31 GMT 14:31 UK
Two aircraft collide at Heathrow
Damaged wing (reader video grab)
The collision happened as the aircraft taxied to the runway
Two airliners have been involved in a collision while taxiing at Heathrow airport in west London.

One was a British Airways Boeing 747 departing for Singapore and the other was a Sri Lankan Airlines Airbus A340.

Heathrow's operator, BAA, confirmed there had been an incident at around 2220 BST and that there were no reported injuries.

BA said there had been a "minor collision" involving flight BA011 and an investigation has started.

Investigation launched

A BAA spokesman said: "Heathrow airport can confirm that two aircraft were involved in an incident earlier this evening on the ground.

"There are no reported injuries."

A spokeswoman for Sri Lankan Airlines said the "minor incident" involved flight UL502 to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, via the Maldives, which had 286 passengers and crew on board.

She said: "It is reported that the wing tips of the two aircraft brushed against each other while taxiing.

"No injuries were reported. All passengers have been transferred to city hotels until alternate travel arrangements are made during the course of the day."

An eye-witness, aboard the Sri Lankan airliner, claimed it hit the BA aircraft from behind while manoeuvring on the runway.

"We turned our wing, almost hit what looked like the tail end of the British Airways flight, and we ended up chopping off a bit of wing. It cut through it like butter," said Danish journalist Annasofie Flamand.

"It's pretty incredible to see something like that in a place like Heathrow airport. Thank God it was on the ground and not in the air."

Next flight

The BA spokesman added: "Engineers are inspecting the aircraft to ascertain the damage.

"We do not have any more precise details of the collision while it is being investigated."

He said passengers would either be given the option of a refund or spend the night in a hotel before leaving on the next available flight.

The London Fire Brigade said it was alerted at 2213, although its crews had been stood down by 2228.

A spokesman for the London Ambulance service said: "We were called to the airport at about 2220 BST, but we were stood down around 10 minutes later as there were no injuries."


A passenger describes the moment of impact


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