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JetBlue plane struck by driverless ground vehicle at Logan

A JetBlue aircraft boarding passengers at Boston’s Logan International Airport was struck by a van whose driver mistakenly left the vehicle in drive at about 5:30 a.m. Friday, according to the airline and state officials.

JetBlue Flight 891 was scheduled to depart for Tampa from Gate C11 at Terminal C when it was struck by a van operated by Swissport Cargo Services one of the companies providing ground services at Logan, according to State Police.

The driver believed he had placed the vehicle in park and stepped out of it, State Police spokesman David Procopio said in a statement.

“Upon exiting the vehicle, he realized that the vehicle was in motion,’’ Procopio said. “The operator attempted to regain control of the van as it moved towards the aircraft.’’

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Procopio said the employee could not get control of the van, was knocked to the ground, and suffered some injuries.

The van then struck the JetBlue plane. It may have hit a wing or another part of the aircraft, according to state officials and JetBlue.

“A second Swiss Port employee, in the area, was then able to regain control of the van as it continued in motion past the aircraft,’’ Procopio wrote. “The only person injured was the Swiss Port operator of the van.’’

No passengers were injured, JetBlue said.

“Customers on the flight from Boston to Tampa will be accommodated on a different aircraft this morning,’’ the airline said in a written statement.

Massport said the plane was damaged and taken out of service.

JetBlue said the extent of the damage to the aircraft is one of several issues under investigation.

State Police and the Massport fire department responded.

The incident remains under investigation, Massport said.


John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.

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