Quick-thinking crew member stops runaway cart from striking airplane on tarmac

aapsky/iStock(CHICAGO) — A quick-thinking airport employee averted a bad accident when a catering cart spun out of control on the tarmac of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The dramatic incident was caught on video by a passenger inside the terminal.

Employees were servicing an American Airlines jet when their catering cart suddenly lurched out of control and began spinning wildly on its own. Dr. Kevin Klauer, who shot the video Monday, said it appeared that a case of bottled water fell off the vehicle and lodged under the accelerator.

Ground crew members leaped aside as the cart careered around and around. An employee was knocked to the ground and pulled to safety by another worker.

Other employees tried to reach out to stop the vehicle as its circular path took it closer to the nose of the airplane, but the cart was moving too fast.

Suddenly, as seen in the video, a man ran up from behind the others and snuck past the spinning cart by narrowly jumping between it and the plane. He then disappeared out of frame for a moment, during which time he appeared to start up a forklift vehicle.

On its final loop, the cart was heading right for the nose of the jet — when the employee steered the forklift into its path, crashing into the cart and knocking it away from the plane.

The force of the crash toppled the cart onto its side and sent bottles and other items flying, but the plane was unharmed and it appeared there were no injuries.

In a statement released after the incident, American Airlines officials said they were investigating the mishap.

“Preliminary reports indicate that the accelerator became stuck and caused the catering cart to lose control,” the statement said. “No American Airlines team members were injured and the incident resulted in one 10 minute flight delay.”

“We appreciate the quick action of our team member who stopped the vehicle,” the statement added. “Safety is our top priority and we are working with our partners to investigate the incident.”

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