On Friday, June 29, 2007 at 2:52 AM, 8 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 8 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, Crash 80, Foam 180, 280 and 380 all under the direction of Battalion Chief Michael Greenup, responded to an Aircraft Incident on Runway 25L at LAX International Airport.
The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a Full alarm standby on Runway 25L in the early morning hours at LAX. An Air China 400 series 747 had taken off, when the next aircraft in line for take-off noticed a significant amount of debris on the runway and immediately contacted the radio tower. The Air China 747 circled and returned safely to the airport with a significant shower of sparks and debris.
The plane experienced two tires and a wheel assembly which had separated from the aircraft, exposing metal parts that came in contact with the runway producing shrapnel which caused damage to the rear fuselage and severed hydraulic lines. The plane's fuselage also suffered a "football" sized hole and several significant gashes. The Air China 747 carried a "combi" load, consisting of 223 passengers, 4 pilots, the crew and large cargo. Before the passengers or cargo could be removed from the plane, stabilization measures had to be undertaken. With the assistance of United Airlines and their "tail stand", LAX Airfield Operations, Construction/Maintenance Services and Fire Department personnel were able to stabilize the aircraft and safely evacuate the passengers.
There were no reported injuries to passengers or sworn personnel. Runway 25L will remain closed until approximately 10:00 A.M. The temporary closure will not impact airport operations.