A video reportedly taken by a Delta Airlines passenger in George Town, Grand Cayman yesterday, February 9, 2024, and circulated on social media shows a “stairs truck” toppled over after a collision with a Delta Airlines plane on the tarmac at the Owen Roberts International Airport.
Similar to other smaller countries in the region, stairs trucks are utilized because the airport does not have a jet bridge or jetway extending from the airplane to the terminal gate. The jetway is also helpful because it can shield passengers from rain when boarding or disembarking the plane. When there is no jetway, the stairs truck is placed next to the plane’s doors, and passengers disembark.
While it is unclear how the accident occurred yesterday with the stairs truck reportedly operated by Flowers Air Dispatch Services, one passenger was heard on video saying, “We totally ran that thing over with our wing… flipped it.”
As passengers waited, fumes came from the stairs truck near the plane with passengers still on board.
(photo from a passenger on Delta Airlines)
Seemingly worried about the fumes and the possibility of a fire, one passenger said, “[they] better get a fire truck out here.”
“[I] think they should get us off the plane like now, before that thing catches fire,” the passenger added.
While it remains unclear how the incident occurred, the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA), which operates the Owen Roberts International Airport, published a press release acknowledging that an incident happened. The CIAA also noted, “No injuries have been reported, and a full investigation is underway.”
CIAA added that Delta “arranged for a relief flight for those passengers who remain in Grand Cayman and were originally scheduled to depart on Delta flight DL 1870 to Atlanta, GA.”
Regarding this incident and the ongoing safety of passengers, CIAA officials reportedly said:
The safety and security of our passengers is our top priority.
We are conducting a thorough investigation to understand the circumstances that led to this occurrence and collaborating closely with airport partners to prevent such incidents in the future.
If the outcome of such collaboration is the implementation of a jetway, this may increase passenger safety and prevent incidents like yesterday from reoccurring.