LIMA, PERU (NEWS10) — A wild scene unfolded on a runway in Peru as a plane collided with a fire truck, killing two men inside that truck. Two Capital Region women were in the airport when it happened, and are now stranded in the foreign country waiting for a flight back home.
Julia Champagne and Katherine Fottrell thought they’d be home in Albany by now, with just memories of surfing and fun from their Peruvian vacation, but travel woes got in the way Friday.
“We were like, ‘there’s a lot of people at the airport counter.’ But all the announcements were in Spanish,” Champagne recalled on a zoom call.
The two women were just “waiting it out” in the airport, until a bilingual man eventually explained to them what was going on. While the crew and passengers of the plane are reportedly all okay, two firefighters in the truck were killed.
“We could see the plane still on the runway afterwards, but then suddenly, every TV in the airport was just showing the footage of the crash,” Champagne said.
The video shows massive amounts of smoke billowing from the plane. LATAM airlines said it did not know why the firetruck was on the runway in the first place.
The Prosecutor’s Office in Callao, where the airport is located, said an investigation has been opened into the cause of the accident.
Meanwhile, travelers like Fottrell and Champagne are just hoping they don’t have to wait much longer to get back to the U.S.
“The airport literally just reopened at midnight tonight, and our airline is saying they’re not flying out until Wednesday,” Fottrell explained, “but other airlines are flying normally, so we are just kind of caught in the middle.”
The women say they’re “on standby” in case a sooner flight home is available.