AA Plane Hits DFW Firetruck

Passengers say moment was like "earthquake"

It felt like an earthquake when the wing of an airplane tore into the top of a firetruck parked near the gate, a passenger said.

The incident started when a passenger on American Airlines Flight 611 from Charlotte, N.C., had a diabetic emergency Thursday. A doctor and nurse who happened to be on board were helping the passenger, who was lying in the aisle, James Markus said.

The firetruck with medics was waiting at a Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport gate when the jet's wing struck the truck.

"It was almost like an earthquake, I'd say, because we were scraping across the fire truck," Markus said. "And it was also coming to a stop pretty fast."

Markus, 17, of Charlotte, was on his way to Plano to visit relatives.

"I was telling my mom we were about to hit it," he said.

His mother, Cindy, said they could see the truck out their window.

"Being the mom, I said, 'No we're not going to hit it,'" Cindy Markus said. "And then 'kshhhh' ... for as slow as we were going, it did a lot of damage."

Part of the plane's wing was peeled back, and the top of the fire truck was crushed, she said.

The Fort Worth-based airline, the airport and the Federal Aviation Administration are all investigating how the incident happened.

Nobody was hurt. And by the end of the flight, the man with the medical problem was talking and seemed alert, other passengers said.

But James Markus said the fireman behind the wheel seemed shaken.

"He was looking in the mirror like, 'What did we just get hit by?'"

As passengers finally got off at the gate, they said the pilot and crew never mentioned what happened.

"They just said, 'Oh, thanks for flying. Hope you had a good flight,'" James Markus said. "It was weird."

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