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Piliot swerves, avoids runway collision at Mérida airport

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An Aeromexico pilot avoided a collision on the runway at the Merida airport.
An Aeromexico pilot avoided a collision on the runway at the Merida airport.

Updated

Mérida, Yucatán — Two planes nearly collided head-on Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport Wednesday morning.

The near mishap is unprecedented at this airport, and could have resulted in one of the country’s worst air travel accidents in history, according to local media reports.

A miscommunication from the control tower was to blame for the close call, reports Diario de Yucatán. The controller, whose name has been withheld, has been suspended pending further investigation.

The pilot of an Aeroméxico Boeing 737, about to take off for Mexico City, aburptly braked and swerved sharply off the runway at 10:05 a.m. to avoid a collision with an Interjet Airbus A320 that had just landing.

The 200 passengers on board Flight 421 were startled by the sudden maneuver, but no injuries were reported. Among the passengers were several students from Heymo Gimnasia en route to a national gymnastics tournament in San Luis Potosi, according to Por Esto.

The Airbus had capacity for another 220 travelers.

The Aeroméxico flight returned to the airport where passengers were given restaurant vouchers and booked on a 4 p.m. flight.

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