Heathrow airport incident: Passengers removed from plane after 'serious accident' on airfield

Simon Calder, Jon Sharman

A man has died after a “serious accident” took place at Heathrow Airport involving two vehicles on the airfield at Terminal 5.

Police have launched an investigation after the man, in his 40s, died after being taken to hospital.

In a statement, the airport said it was “working closely with the emergency services” after the crash between two airside vehicles.

At least one plane is understood to have returned to its gate and passengers were removed.

“The airfield remains open and we will work to minimise disruption to our passengers’ journeys”, a Heathrow spokeswoman said.

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) and Metropolitan Police confirmed they had been called.

London Fire Brigade said it had released two people who were trapped in the vehicles following the crash.

An LAS spokesman said: “We treated two patients, both men. One was treated for a shoulder injury and taken to hospital. The second later went into cardiac arrest and extensive efforts were made to resuscitate him both at the scene and on the way to hospital.”

The Met said it had informed the family of the deceased man.

Despite the airport insisting the incident would not impact journeys, a number of passengers posted to Twitter that they had suffered problems.

Alastair MacLeod tweeted: “Apparently there has been an accident on one of the runways at HeathrowAirport and many planes (including this one) are parked on the apron with unspecified delays of ‘hours’. No public news of this and no useful updates from British-Airways – anyone out there know any more?”

After Heathrow responded to say the accident was not expected to impact journeys, Steven Ross replied: “With respect, it is impacting journeys departing B gates – BA710 to Zurich delayed by +2 hrs and aircraft change required. Sending good wishes to injured staff.”

In a statement, British Airways said: “We have apologised to customers for the delay to a small number of our flights this morning, following an incident involving two operational vehicles at the airport. We are doing all we can to ensure they will be able to depart as soon as possible.”

Several aircraft preparing to take off were held on the ground following the collision near Terminal 5 shortly after 6am.

At least 20 British Airways flights failed to meet their scheduled departure time after the crash.

Additional reporting by agencies