No passengers or crew were killed in the crash.
A pair of passengers took a selfie with the plane after they managed to exit the vehicle. Both they and the aircraft are covered in a white, chalky fire suppressant chemical.
A man, who is believed to be named Enrique Varsi-Rospigliosi, shared the image on Twitter along with the caption “when life gives you a second chance #latam.”
Lima Airport Partners said the firefighters were conducting an emergency drill that day and that they had secured all the necessary clearances to operate safely on the runway.
“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,” the group said. “Control Tower [CORPAC] confirmed the [exercise] start time 15:10 [3:10pm], it being the time fixed for the beginning of the maneuver, and the impact with the LATAM aircraft occurred at 15:11.”
In a video shared widely on social media, the plane can be seen skidding down the runway and kicking up sparks before catching fire and leaving a trail of smoke as it slid to a stop.
Jorge Salinas, the president of the board of directors of the Peruvian Corporation of Airports and Commercial Aviation, took issue with the Lima Airport Partners’ version of events, claiming the firefighters had not been given authorisation to access the runway.
“There is not authorisation for the entry of any vehicle to the runway. There is authortisation to carry out an exercise, but it is outside the areas that currently have transit operations,” he told the RRP radio station on Sunday.
Two passengers were seriously hurt in the accident, according to Peru’s Health Ministry, and another 18 were receiving medical treatment for injuries sustained in the crash.