BOSTON (AP) – A construction truck crossed a runway at one of the nation’s busiest airports Thursday just before a plane with 89 people aboard took off behind it.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates the airport, Logan International, were investigating the incident, labeled a “serious runway incursion.”

The truck driver, who works for a private contractor, appears to have violated airfield procedures, authorities said.

The truck crossed the runway just before Phoenix-bound US Airways Flight 27, an Airbus A320 with 84 passengers and a crew of five, took off at about 6:30 a.m.

The plane and the truck were “a matter of seconds” from colliding, Massport spokesman Phil Orlandella said.

The incident prompted the airport to stop construction on the airfield.

“Until we know the factors that contributed to this event – whether it was the failure of an individual or there was a failure in the system – and implemented measures to minimize further the potential for such events, construction on the airfield will be suspended,” Massport said in a statement.

The actions of the truck driver were being investigated, the statement said, and his airfield driving privileges were revoked.

Authorities don’t believe alcohol was involved, Orlandella said, but they were investigating other potential factors, including whether the driver may have been using a cell phone at the time.

Cell phone use was blamed last month when a trolley driver crashed in Boston, injuring nearly 50 people and causing $9 million in train damage. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which runs the trolley system, instituted a systemwide cell phone ban for drivers soon after.

AP-ES-06-18-09 2019EDT


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