CAA - BA plane used wrong taxi way

The CAA launched an investigation after a BA flight hit a two-story building at OR Tambo Airport.

The British Airways flight crashed its wing into a building at OR Tambo International Airport on 22 December 2013. Picture: @FlightEmergency via Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says an investigation is now underway after a British Airways Boeing 747 hit a two-storey building at the OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday night.

It's understood the plane's wing hit into the two-storey building as it was taxiing to the runway for takeoff.

Four people who were in the building were slightly hurt while the 182 passengers and crew members on board escaped unharmed.

The CAA's Phindiwe Gwebu says, "The Boeing 747 got instructions to takeoff from runway 03L and the crew were instructed to use Taxi Way B, instead they used Taxi Way M, which is too small for that type of aircraft."

Some of the passengers that were on board the flight say the crew panicked.

Two men, who were due to fly to London on the flight, say the crew seemed confused.

"One thing that really annoyed me was the announcements. You could not hear what they were saying. It was such an old plane. The staff seemed to be in total disbelief. I think they were panicking, they didn't quite know what to do."

They described the moment when the plane's wing made impact with the building.

"We were just cruising slowly and getting comfortable and suddenly the plane jerked, kind of like we hit a speed bump. But then it felt as if we hit about five to seven speed bumps. There was a terrible noise and the plane came to a sudden stop. Then the pilot came out and said, 'We've had an incident.'"

Meanwhile, dozens of passengers who were on board the flight have arrived at the airport for information on alternative flights.

Many of those on board spent the night at the airport while some have already flown to the United Kingdom.

A British Airways employee at the airline's OR Tambo International ticket booth says more than 50 passengers who were on board Sunday night's flight have already arrived to inquire about what happened.

Around 180 people were bussed to hotels shortly after the crash.

Passengers say they haven't received much correspondence from the airline and need to make sure their luggage is safe.

The airport is now functioning normally after the incident and the area where the crash happened has been cordoned off.

Two alternative flights that can accommodate the passengers are expected to depart from Johannesburg this evening.

Shortly after the crash, two passengers took to twitter:

BA plane crashes into building at J Burg airport. No one injured only the pilot's pride.

#Britishairways #epicfail

BA plane crash. J burg