Virgin Atlantic airliner bound for Heathrow crashes wing into fence

277 passengers were delayed because of the mishap at New York JFK

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A Virgin Atlantic airliner with hundreds of people on board was grounded after its wing crashed into a fence just before it was due to set off for Heathrow from New York.

The plane was being pushed by a vehicle from a departure gate at John F Kennedy airport when its wing hit a blast fence at around 8.30am local time.

Passengers – including American actress Bella Thorne – complained of being “stranded” for hours following the mishap, as Virgin scrambled to find them alternative flights after bussing them back to the terminal.

There were 277 passengers and 14 crew aboard the plane at the time, a Virgin spokeswoman told Sky News. None of them were injured, while the airliner sustained “minor damage”.

Passenger Schlecker R posted a photo on Twitter, writing: “noooooo!! They crashed our plane into the blast fence!! I just want to go home!!”

Thorne, 17-year-old star of My Own Worst Enemy, an American drama, was on board with her actor boyfriend Gregg Sulkin and supermodel Bella Hadid.

Virgin later apologised.

The spokeswoman said: "The VS26 departing from JFK to London Heathrow today returned to the gate after a miscalculation by the tug caused minor damage to one of its wing tips.

"All customers disembarked the aircraft and our teams have made arrangement to get our customers on their way home tonight.

"Safety is our number one priority and we would like to apologise for the delay and any inconvenience."