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Photo: British Airways Jumbo Jet Strikes a Building


The wing of a British Airways Boeing 747 after it clipped a building at O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg on Dec. 22

Photograph by Sean Durkan/AP Photo

The wing of a British Airways Boeing 747 after it clipped a building at O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg on Dec. 22

A British Airways (IAG:LN) jumbo jet had an unfortunate collision with a building in South Africa before a flight to London. Pilots apparently steered onto the wrong taxiway late Sunday preparing to depart OR Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg, causing the plane’s wing to plow into a brick building adjacent to the airfield. The accident left four people in the brick building with minor injuries and spilled jet fuel from the damaged wing.

“Not impressed that first-class passengers get off before premium economy during an emergency,” passenger Harriet Tolputt, the director of media for charity Oxfam International, wrote on Twitter. Tolputt was sitting in premium economy on the Boeing 747. Another passenger, John Hart, told the BBC “we were just taxiing along and then ‘boom!’” On the plane, Tolputt said the only injury was “the pilot’s pride.”

Bachman is an associate editor for Businessweek.com.

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