CAA: Fuel spilled after 747 accident

The aviation authority says it’s now examining on-board recordings after the OR Tambo accident.

The British Airways Boeing 747 wing after it hit into a building at OR Tambo International Airport on 22 December 2013. Picture: iWitness.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says fuel was spilled after a British Airways Boeing 747 took an incorrect taxiway at OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday night, hitting a building with its wing.

The CAA says it's now examining the footage from the plane's flight recorders to establish how the pilot was directed onto the wrong taxiway and what led to the spillage.

None of the more than 180 passengers and crew were hurt when the plane's right wing sliced into the building, but four ground staff employees sustained minor injuries.

The jumbo jet went down a taxiway that was too narrow to accommodate large aircrafts.

The CAA's Phindi Gwebu says investigations into what caused the crash started soon after the plane was moved to a remote location.

She revealed, "There was also fuel spillage which was then contained by the airport's fire services."

A passenger who was on-board the flight said he was concerned the plane might catch fire.

"That fuel was pouring onto the side of the building, which had had its roof taken off but still had power to it. All the electric cables were sitting there."

Meanwhile, British Airways says it's co-operating with the CAA probe and has already arranged alternative flights for people who've been left stranded in Johannesburg.