Two planes collide at Newark airport
No one was injured when the planes clipped each other while preparing for takeoff, but passengers were forced to disembark after the damages took the planes out of service.
The accident occurred at one of the busiest airports in the US at around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, as both the Scandinavian Airline and a United ExpressJet were on the taxiway.
“ExpressJet Flight 4226, operating as United Express, from Newark (EWR) to Nashville (BNA) was on the taxiway in EWR when its tail was contacted by another aircraft,” a United official told ABC in a statement. “All 31 passengers deplaned the aircraft normally and were bussed to the terminal where they are being re-accommodated. ExpressJet is working in coordination with officials to determine the cause.”
Passengers that were on the United flight were placed on a different plane headed toward Nashville, while Scandinavian Air is still trying to accommodate its passengers. Other departing flights were delayed by up to 45 minutes at the Newark airport.
Around 9 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration reported a gate hold and taxi delays between 15 and 29 minutes.
The damage was visible from a CBS 2 helicopter, which reported that the tail of one aircraft was crumpled.
Officials are now investigating the accident.
The collision is the second time that planes collided in the US this week. One person was killed in a mid-air collision of two small planes in California on April 29, merging about eight miles northeast of Ventura.
One plane was carrying three passengers, all of which were injured and hospitalized after it landed on a golf course. The second airplane, carrying one passenger that died after the collision, crashed into mountainous terrain and started a small forest fire, KABC reported.
In the case of the Newark collision, airport congestion is likely to blame. A February New York Times report predicted that such accidents will become more likely as air traffic continues to grow, especially within the next decade. Currently, two million passengers board about 30,000 flights in the US every day and planes frequently miss each other narrowly on runways and taxiways.
And according to statistics listed by the Bureau of Transportation, taxiing accidents are the sixth most common type of airplane accident, with 4 occurring between 2010 and 2012. Tail strikes are the ninth most common type of airline accident, with three instances occurring within the past three years, not including the Newark collision. Most of these are a result of pilot errors, often at congested airports.