CHICAGO (CBS) — A video of a catering truck going out of control and spinning in circles at O’Hare International Airport has gone viral.
But while it may seem like something that could be accompanied by the “Benny Hill Show” theme music at first glance, there is a serious side to it.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole on Tuesday went looking past the video to the causes behind a risky situation.
Twitter user Kevin Klauer captured video of the driverless catering truck, which was seen spinning backward in a circle on the tarmac next to a plane parked at the terminal and attached to a jetway.
Crazy event at ORD. Heads up safety move by a ramp worker! pic.twitter.com/SQi5zB0Ooz
— Kevin Klauer DO, EJD (@Emergidoc) September 30, 2019
Workers look on until a quick-thinking American Airlines colleague stops it by ramming it with a pushback tug – an apparatus that is usually used to move jets from the gates. The video has been liked well over 199,000 times on Twitter.
But it is worth taking a step back, because what looks silly at first is really quite serious.
As the cart swirls faster and faster, we counted as many as nine individuals on the scene. Look closely and you’ll see one person appears to have been knocked to the ground and a coworker even has to pull him back to safety.
Meanwhile, another person jumps past the unit, risking being hurled against the plane. It could possibly be the same worker who later drove into control the situation.
We now know that man is Jorge Manalang, a six-year veteran of American Airlines partner Envoy who currently works as a fleet service instructor.
“At first, no one was paying attention,” Klauer said in a phone interview with CBS 2, “then as it began to pick up speed, more people started to pay attention to it.”
Klauer, a traveler passing through O’Hare, said it happened about halfway down the G-gate corridor of O’Hare’s Terminal 3.
“One more revolution of that thing, it would have taken the nose of the aircraft out,” he said.
Envoy confirms a heavy carton of water bottles fell on the cart’s accelerator as it was parked servicing the outbound aircraft. The image is fuzzy, but it might be visible in the video.
Because there was no contact with the plane, no action is required by the National Transportation Safety Board. But aviation sources said the NTSB could still decide to investigate if it’s brought to their attention. And with all those eyes on Twitter, who knows.
Aviation sources were even unsure how to classify the incident. One even speculated it could be a near-miss.
O’Hare officials tell us the incident is being reported as a traffic accident and, it’s the first time in recent history that something like it has happened.