'Nothing to be proud of': Couple takes selfie after surviving plane-truck crash that killed 2 firefighters

The collision claimed the lives of two firefighters, Angel Torres and Nicolas Santa Gadea, as their truck hit the Latam airlines LA2213 flight

'Nothing to be proud of': Couple takes selfie after surviving plane-truck crash that killed 2 firefighters
A couple raised eyebrows as they posted a selfie they took after surviving a firetruck crashing into their plane in Peru (Twitter/@enriquevarsi)
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LIMA, PERU: A couple raised eyebrows as they posted a selfie they took after surviving a firetruck crashing into their plane. The tragedy reportedly claimed two lives.

The stuff of nightmares became reality this past Friday, November 18, at the Jorge Chávez International airport in Lima, Peru. At around 3.30 pm local time, a fire truck crashed into a plane as it was taking off. The collision claimed the lives of two firefighters, Angel Torres and Nicolas Santa Gadea, as their truck hit the Latam airlines LA2213 flight. None of the passengers or crew of the plane were killed in the collision. Authorities are further investigating the incident at the time of publication. 

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One couple that survived the crash took a selfie after the incident, with the damaged plane in the background. The man in the photo, believed to be Enrique Varsi-Rospigliosi, tweeted the picture with the caption, "When life gives you a second chance #latam."


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The photo was later shared on the popular Facebook aviation page A320 Systems, where some disapproved of the photo. One commented, "Unbelievable," while another said, "Bad taste selfie." Someone else added, “Nothing to be proud of, firefighters died," while another wrote, “Two firefighters die but sure, take a selfie and laugh." 

Others, however, defended the couple while offering condolences to those killed in the crash. "It's very sad for the relatives of the firetruck," one offered," adding, "Perhaps the people in the picture weren't aware of the fatalities or perhaps were just so relieved to have survived themselves. At the moment they maybe didn't think it through and were saying to their own family they were ok. We who comment weren't in the accident so can't know their thinking." Another offered, "This could have been a major disaster. Everyone on the plane is extremely fortunate. Sorry about the firefighters who perished in this accident. They put their lives at risk every single day to save others."

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President Pedro Castillo of Peru offered his condolences on Twitter. "I express my heartfelt condolences to the relatives of Ángel Torres and Nicolás Santa Gadea, brave firefighters who died in the accident," he wrote. "My thoughts and my prayers are with them. I pray for the recovery of the wounded."

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Lima Airport Partners, who operate the airport facility, shared an update following the crash. The company said the fire truck was on the runway as part of a scheduled drill. "On Nov. 18, during the morning and until the beginning of the exercise, the firefighting team made all the necessary arrangements to execute the maneuver. Control Tower (CORPAC) confirmed the start time 15:10, it being the time fixed for the beginning of the maneuver, and the impact with the LATAM aircraft occurred at 15:11," a statement read. 

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However, officials said the drill had not included entry onto the active runway. "There is no authorization for the entry of any vehicle to the runway," Jorge Salinas, board member of the Peruvian Corporation of Airports and Commercial Aviation, said in a statement. "There is authorization to carry out an exercise, but it is outside the areas that currently have transit operations." That said, the prosecutor's office is investigating the incident as potential manslaughter, Reuters reported.

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