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Wheel falls off United Airlines Boeing 777 and crushes cars in San Francisco

Simon Calder’s Travel

A United Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing in California after a tyre fell off midflight and damaged several cars in a parking lot in San Francisco.

The incident occurred on Thursday at around 11.24am local time after the Boeing 777 took off from San Francisco International Airport. The passenger plane with 235 passengers and 14 crew members was bound for Japan.

Video of the incident showed one of the plane’s six wheels detaching and dropping off as the plane was taking off.

The plane was redirected to Los Angeles International Airport where fire engines stood on standby. The plane landed safely and stopped approximately two-thirds of the way down the runway, after which it was towed away, LAX airport officials said.

No one was injured, airport spokesman Doug Yakel said in a statement.

However, soon after the landing, it emerged that the loose tyre fell onto an employee car park at San Francisco International Airport.

Pictures from the scene showed several cars badly damaged by the impact with the side and back window panes of a silver Toyota Corolla car smashed. The cars were unoccupied at the time and no one was harmed.

A damaged car is seen in an on-airport employee parking lot after tire debris from a Boeing 777 landed on it at San Francisco International Airport

(Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

No one was harmed in the incident

(Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

An investigation has been launched into the incident, the Federal Aviation Administration’s spokesperson Tony Molinaro said.

United Airlines expressed gratitude to their pilots and flight attendants, and said they will work with owners of vehicles damaged.

“We’re grateful to our pilots and flight attendants for their professionalism in managing this situation,” United Airlines said in a statement.

“We’re also grateful to our teams on the ground who were waiting with a tug to move the aircraft soon after it landed and to our teams in the airport who assisted customers upon their arrival.

“We will work with customers as well as with the owners of the damaged vehicles in SFO to ensure their needs are addressed.”

Los Angeles airport spokesperson Doug Yakel said that the runway was briefly shut down after the passengers were evacuated to allow crews to clear debris.

There was no further impact on…

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