The wing of a jetliner carrying some 180 passengers sliced through a building at the airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, just as the plane was about to take off on Sunday night.
No one appeared injured on board the British Airways flight, which was headed for London, said Harriet Tolputt, a spokeswoman for the international aid agency Oxfam who was on the flight. Four ground employees who were in the building sustained "minor injuries," Airports Company South Africa, which runs the airport, said in a statement.
Tolputt told NBC News that the plane was taxiing when she heard very loud crash and saw the wing hit the building on the edge of the runway at O.R. Tambo International Airport.
British Airways confirmed that the Boeing 747 was damaged, telling NBC News that the 189 people on board disembarked safely. The airline said in a statement that it had launched "a full investigation."
A spokeswoman for the airport told NBC News that the passengers were being put up in hotels overnight.
Tolputt told BreakingNews.com that passengers waited an hour for crews to put foam on a fuel leak. She said some were shaken and in tears.
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First published December 23 2013, 5:33 AM