Passenger Bus Collides With Baggage Cart at Frankfurt Airport During Apron Transfer, Injuring Over a Dozen People

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Over a dozen passengers as well as the drivers of colliding vehicles were injured on Friday when a passenger bus at Frankfurt Airport collided with a baggage transporter.

The bus subsequently rammed a barrier surrounding a construction site before it came to a halt and emergency services were able to respond to the accident.

Apart from the two driver one passenger was also severely injured with about a dozen passengers receiving smaller injuries. The bus had a total of 75 passengers on board when it collided with the transporter.

The German daily newspaper Berliner Morgenpost (see here) wrote about it in their online edition yesterday.

According to the news reports the bus transported passengers arriving from a Lufthansa flight ex Barcelona that received an apron position back to Terminal 1 when the accident happened.

The accident occurred around 8:40am close to gate A20 when the bus collided with a baggage transporter, injuring both drivers severely including the bus driver who had to be rescued from the vehicle by firefighters.

A passengers who was apparently on the bus published the following image on his Twitter showing the bus on top of a construction barrier.

 

A FraPort spokesman said the cause of the accident was not the winter weather which started to grip Germany in the past few days. One could conclude that this means the cause was likely negligence on the part of at least one of the drivers.

FraPort said also that 40% of the flights in Frankfurt are being handled via apron positions and the airport operates 85 buses. The longest routes for apron position transfers are 10km long.

10 Kilometers distance to reach the terminal by bus is an insane distance and Frankfurt Airport has indeed grown into a monstrosity. I personally hate bus transfers to/from my flights, it’s an absolute nuisance especially with heavy carry on baggage and in severe weather conditions.

Conclusion

Even though three people are severely injured at least there were no casualties after this accident. Some of these bus drivers and apron vehicle operators have a crazy driving style and I think everybody who experienced a few of these bus transfers found himself bouncing around pretty good from time to time.

Nowadays I try to avoid Frankfurt Airport if I can because certain airlines such as British Airways almost always have apron positions and even home carrier Lufthansa (as in this case) isn’t immune against it.

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  • It is sad but does not come as a surprise at all to me. We also gave up on Frankfurt and much prefer Munich. Like you we found BA flights always involved a bus and I pay to fly not stand on a bus driven by an idiot. I say idiot because one time we had to shout at a bus driver at Frankfurt airport on a long journey to our aircraft as he was distracted about to drive into the rear of an aircraft! He swerved at the last minute, knocking some people off their feet. It also has security deficiencies that I find concerning but do not wish to publicise for obvious reasons. Dreadful airport.

    • DepartureLevel

      Totally agree. We connected in FRA to LH to go to Croatia. I swear the bus ride out to the remote plane took at least 15 minutes (and it wasn’t a slow drive) ! How can you park a plane 15 minutes from the terminal ?? Ridiculous. The only saving grace was my friend and I were non-revs and we only got on that LH flight because of the amount of time LH has to allow to bus people to their planes – obviously revenue passengers were too late for the last bus that we got on.

      • Eurocratique

        it’s hardly just germany which has long bus journeys. i have had similar at T5 (yes t5) with BA at heathrow, and CDG is pretty bad sometimes

  • cscasi

    “it’s an absolute nuisance especially with heavy carry on baggage and in severe weather conditions.”
    Solution – Don’t carry HEAVY carry on baggage!

    • Mark Fenton

      Exactly

  • Mike

    It would seem to make sense to have a rule such as passenger buses always have the right of way.

  • Craig Guensler

    My wife and I were two of the people injured in this accident. We have finally made our way back to the United States. I was a scary and painful situation. We are recovering and trying to move forward. We both were both standing which I would no longer recommend when we flew about 8 feet forward. My arm was severely injured and he back was severely injured. Once we were let out of the hospital we had to find our own way back to the airport and then had to work with the airlines to get us home. Not much help came our way.