U.S. Airways Planes Clip Wings at Reagan Airport

By Annie Gowen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 17, 2008; 2:53 PM

Two U.S. Airways planes were evacuated this morning at Reagan National Airport after the planes' wings clipped, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said.

Courtney Prebich, a MWAA spokeswoman, said that the two planes -- a U.S. Airways Airbus A319 headed to LaGuardia Airport and a smaller U.S. Airways Express regional jet on the way to Rochester, N.Y. -- were in an area at the north side of the airport waiting for their turn at the runway when the collision occurred.

The smaller jet -- operated by regional carrier Republic Airways -- was carrying 21 passengers in taxi mode toward the runway when it clipped the wing of the larger aircraft and became lodged there, according to Andrea Rader, a spokeswoman for U.S. Airways.

Emergency response vehicles evacuated a total of 63 passengers from the two planes onto buses and took them to the airport terminal, where they were booked onto later flights, officials said. One passenger complaining of back pain after the collision was taken to a nearby hospital for examination, Prebich said.

There were no serious injuries and damage to the planes was slight, officials said. Other flights were not delayed because of the incident.

Rader said the airline had not yet determined why the planes colllided. The National Transportation Safety Board is also looking into the cause of the collision.

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