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Tire falls off Boeing plane after takeoff, smashes vehicles

Moments after takeoff, the tire from the 777-200 plane fell on an airport parking lot below, causing extensive damage to several vehicles.
Posted at 12:01 PM, Mar 08, 2024

Moments after taking off Thursday from San Francisco International Airport, a Boeing 777-200 airplane lost a tire, which fell on vehicles down below. 

The incident forced the United Airlines crew to divert the flight bound for Osaka, Japan, to Los Angeles International Airport. 

According to United Airlines, 235 passengers, 10 flight attendants and four pilots were on board the international flight. The airline said the aircraft is designed to land with missing or damaged tires. 

United says the plane has six tires on each of its two main landing gear struts.

"We’re grateful to our pilots and flight attendants for their professionalism in managing this situation," the airline said in a statement. "We’re also grateful to our teams on the ground who were waiting with a tug to move the aircraft soon after it landed and to our teams in the airport who assisted customers upon their arrival. We will work with customers as well as with the owners of the damaged vehicles in SFO to ensure their needs are addressed."

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Video showed the plane making a relatively normal landing in Los Angeles. 

Audio obtained by KGO-TV indicated that pilots were notified by air traffic control of the incident. 

"We don't have any indications here on board that it was, but for right now, we're going to continue," one of the pilots said. 

No injuries were reported, but several vehicles were heavily damaged. 

The airline said the passengers were able to board a different aircraft and head to Osaka later in the evening. 

In response to Scripps News, Boeing deferred comment to the airline. 

According to government documents, the Boeing 777 was manufactured in 2002.