BA jet dives 600ft to avoid crash

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The Independent Online

A British Airways jet bound for London was forced into near freefall to avoid a mid-air collision over the US, the company said yesterday.

The pilot was being given instructions by air traffic control to continue climbing from 16,500ft to 20,000ft when the aircraft's emergency avoidance system gave the command "descend, descend, descend", a BA spokesman said.

Two of the 175 passengers and four crew suffered minor injuries as the Boeing 777 plunged 600ft just 15 minutes after taking off from Tampa airport in Florida this month.