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Boy's Curiosity Grounds 747, Costs Airline $750,000

September 10, 1986|Associated Press

SHANNON, Ireland — The curiosity of an 8-year-old boy damaged a jumbo jet, stranded hundreds of passengers and cost an airline about $750,000, an airline official said Tuesday.

The boy experimented with the controls to a mobile bridge linking the plane to the terminal at Shannon International Airport, near Dublin, as he and his father were getting off on a stopover en route from Prestwick, sScotland, to New York on Sunday.

Philip Carney, spokesman for Northwest Orient Airlines, said the boy touched the controls of the bridge, which then moved up abruptly, smashing into the exit door of the Boeing 747.

No one was injured, but three engineers had to be flown from the United States to repair the door.

"We could not let the plane continue for safety reasons until everything was in order," Carney said. "The damage has been estimated at 500,000 pounds (about $750,000), and responsibility for who pays is a matter for negotiation."

The estimate included damage to the plane and air bridge and the cost of sending more than 350 passengers to hotels for the night.

Carney would not identify the boy but said he believed the 8-year-old was from New York.

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