For years, baggage handlers have been blamed by irate travellers for the millions of items of luggage that go missing every day on flights around the world.
Now they have the perfect excuse for the missing travel items – the plane ate it.
A Japan Airlines Boeing 747, with 245 passengers on board, sucked up a large metal baggage container as the plane prepared to depart from Los Angeles International Airport yesterday.
To the shock of onlookers – and no doubt the dismay of airline officials and crew on board – the empty baggage cart was sucked into one of the Boeing 747’s four engines, forcing the plane to become grounded and passengers returned back to the terminal.
Japan Airlines Flight 61 to Narita had been preparing to leave the airport about 1.30pm (LA time) and was pushing back from the terminal gate when the incident occurred.
Carol Van Schellen, an Australian woman on board the flight, said she was waiting for the plane to taxi down the runway when she noticed police cars suddenly appear on the ground before the aircraft.
“I noticed there were police cars escorting us and I thought: ‘hmmm that’s strange',” she told Melbourne’s 3AW radio station.
“But they were actually trying to stop us I think and I looked out the window and there was a big luggage container sitting in the engine. I don’t know why the pilot hadn't noticed it but I think we were about ready to go and he announced that we had a slight problem with engine no 1.”
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said a baggage cart – which may have been parked too close to the plane - was being towed at the same time and the engine ingested one of the containers, forcing it to become lodged in the outer left-side engine of the four-engine jet.
The vacuum created by the engines preparing for take-off was so strong it sucked up the metal container, which measures approximately 5 feet by 5 feet by 4 feet.
The 245 passengers and 18 crew members were taken back to the terminal where alternative flight arrangements were made for them. There were no injuries.
The damaged plane was towed to a nearby hangar for repairs and examinations by US federal aviation investigators.
It was a lucky escape for those on board the Japan Airlines flight, as there have been a series of serious airline incidents, both on the ground and in the air, in recent months.
Tags: Japan Airlines, baggage, luggage, container, accident, LAX
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States (load item map)
Marked as: repost
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