Video Shows Anxious Moment That 200-Ton Crane Moving Old Air India A320 Hull Collapses Causing Bystander Panic [Video]

Footage uploaded recently to YouTube shows the shocking moment of a nearly disastrous incident at the Begumpet Airport at Hyderabad in India. The footage shows the moment that a giant 200-ton crane moving the hull of an old out-of-service Air India airliner gives way under the weight of the hull, sending the hull crashing to the ground and skidding momentarily in the direction of a small crowd of people watching the delicate operation.

Indian media reports confirmed that the old airplane hull was empty at the time and that no one was injured in the accident.

The accident happened at a spot just outside the grounds of the Begumpet Airport and directly over the wall of a private property next to the airport, identified as the Hitech club.

According to NDTV, the out-of-service 70-tonne (CHK) Airbus A-320 airplane was being moved from a hangar at the Begumpet Airport to an Air India training facility about 3-4 kilometers away when the incident happened.

A police officer explained that the old hull was being moved to the training school at about 7:00 a.m. when the crane bars gave way at about 7:15 a.m. It was being moved to the training school to be used to train future Air India pilots, aviation engineers, technicians, flight attendants and other personnel.

Before it collapsed, the crane had showed signs of stress. But the signs were ignored by people watching, snapping photos, and filming the operation on cell phones. The crane swayed precariously before a part of the upright bar gave way, causing the crane to collapse.

As the crane collapsed, the old airliner hull crashed to the ground and skidded towards the people standing nearby watching. It skidded forward, causing the people to scamper to safety in alarm. But when the people saw that the crashed airplane hull had stopped moving in their direction they stopped running but looked shocked and bewildered.

Fortunately, no one was hurt. According to Zee News, the accident could have ended a major disaster with loss of lives had the airplane hull crashed into the small crowd of people watching the operation from what they thought was a safe distance.

The old hull, according to officials, crashed into a wall that marked the boundaries of a private business — the Hitech Club — next to the airport. The airliner hull was severely damaged by the crash, but it could still be used for training purposes, officials said.

Airport authorities later released a statement explaining the circumstances of the incident.

“An old hull stationed at Old Begumpet airport in Hyderabad was being moved from Air India hanger for training purpose. The hull was successfully taken out of airport but at a particular moment the crane gave away and hull became unstable landing on the ground. Though the hull landed on the ground it can be used for training purpose as planned initially.”

Airbus A320 family of airliners consists of twin-engine commercial passenger airplanes manufactured by Airbus. The family of airliners was launched in 1984 but the first airplane was delivered in 1988. Currently, nearly 7,000 Airbus aircraft have been delivered by the manufacturers and more than 6,500 are still in service.

It became the world’s fastest selling jet airliner because it was very popular with low-cost carriers. At present, American Airlines and EasyJet are among the major operators of A320 aircraft.

Begumpet Airport at Hyderabad served formerly as the international airport of Hyderabad until the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport was opened in 2008. The airport currently hosts some of India’s top aviation schools, such as the Rajiv Gandhi Aviation Academy and the Navigation Training School of the Indian Air Force Training Command.

[Image via Cephas/Wikimedia Commons]

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