El Al plane grounded after striking electric pole in Las Vegas
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El Al plane grounded after striking electric pole in Las Vegas

Flight cancelled as Dreamliner’s wing damaged, apparently when airport employee towing the aircraft refuses to wait for someone to direct him

File: One of El Al's new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft arrives at Ben Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, August 23, 2017. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
File: One of El Al's new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft arrives at Ben Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, August 23, 2017. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

An El Al plane was grounded in Las Vegas after one of its wings clipped an electric pole on Friday.

The wing of the aircraft, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, sustained significant damage. Images of the plane showed a large hole in the wing.

An initial investigation indicated the damage was apparently due to the airport employee responsible for towing the plane refusing to wait for someone to direct him, with the wing striking the pole as he towed the plane, the Ynet news site reported.

The damage to the pole caused a brief power outage.

El Al said it informed passengers the return flight from Las Vegas to Tel Aviv was cancelled and apologized for “any inconvenience” caused.

The incident was the second in recent months in which damage to a Dreamliner led to a flight being cancelled, after travelers were stuck in New York over the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah in October when part of a 787 was damaged while luggage was being loaded onto the plane.

El Al launched direct flights to Las Vegas in May, making it the seventh city in North America to which the airline has nonstop service.

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