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London-bound flight out of JFK grounded after wing hits fence

The wing of a London-bound Virgin Atlantic plane

The wing of a London-bound Virgin Atlantic plane struck a fence at Kennedy Airport Saturday morning, according to the Port Authority. Photo Credit: Stephanie Lacey

The wing of a London-bound Virgin Atlantic plane struck a fence at Kennedy Airport Saturday morning, grounding the airliner, according to the Port Authority.

Flight 276 was being pushed back from Gate 3 at Terminal 4 by a tug at 8:30 a.m. when the right wing struck a blast fence, Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman said.

The plane, which had 276 passengers aboard, was pushed back to the gate, Coleman said. There were no reported injuries, and the passengers are being rebooked by the airline, he said.

Airport maintenance crews were on the scene, Coleman said, attempting to dislodge the wing from the fence.

In a statement, a Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman said "a miscalculation by the tug caused minor damage to one of its wing tips," forcing the VS26 to return to the gate. The airline said teams were working to get customers on flights as soon as possible.

"Safety is our number one priority and we would like to apologize for the delay and any inconvenience caused," according to the statement from Lisette Kwong.

With Darran Simon

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