By Thomas Mackintosh
A fire truck involved in a fatal runway crash at Peru’s busiest airport had been doing a pre-planned emergency drill, officials have said.
Two firefighters died on Friday after the Latam Airlines jet collided with the truck at Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima.
No passengers or crew were killed.
Latam’s CEO said the flight had been cleared for take-off, but the airport has now said a routine drill was being carried out by the fire services.
Video posted on social media shows the plane careering down the runway, catching fire and smoking as it ground to a halt.
In a statement on Sunday Lima Airport Partners (LAP) said the firefighting team had made all of the necessary arrangements to enter the runway as part of an emergency response drill.
It said the control tower confirmed the start time at 15:10 and the impact with the domestic Latam flight happening a minute later.
However, the remarks have been contradicted by the president of the board of directors of the Peruvian Corporation of Airports and Commercial Aviation (Corpac).
Jorge Salinas told local radio the routine had no authorisation to enter the runway,
“There is authorisation to carry out an exercise, but it is outside the areas that currently have transit operations,” he said.
Twenty passengers received medical attention with two of them thought to be serious, according to Peru’s Health Ministry.
Flights were suspended for more than 24 hours at Jorge Chávez International Airport, which is a main hub in South America.