Iron Maiden's "Ed Force One," a Boeing 747 often piloted by frontman Bruce Dickinson, was "badly damaged" after colliding with a tow truck while grounded at a Santiago, Chile airport Saturday. Two ground tug operators were hospitalized with injuries following the accident but are expected to make a full recovery; Iron Maiden, their crew and their 20 tons of equipment were not onboard at the time of the crash.
"Ed Force One was this morning tethered to a tow truck to be taken for refuelling prior to flying over the Andes to Cordoba for the next show. On moving the steering pin that is part of the mechanism that connects the ground tug to the aircraft seemingly fell out," the band wrote on their official site.
"On making a turn the aircraft had no steering and collided with the ground tug badly damaging the undercarriage, two of the aircrafts engines and injuring two ground tug operators, both of whom have been taken to hospital. We hope of course that they make a full and speedy recovery and we will be closely monitoring their progress. The flight engineers are on site and evaluating the damage, but their initial report is that the engines have suffered large damage and will require an extended period of maintenance and possibly two new engines."
Despite the extensive damage to their plane, the heavy metal icons announced that their two Argentina shows in Cordoba and Buenos Aires would go on as scheduled after securing another form of transportation.
"We are happy to tell our fans in Cordoba that our Killer Krew has sorted out all logistics for us to be there with our full show for you all tomorrow," the band added. "We expect no disruption to the tour in any way and are looking for a replacement 747 Ed Force One while our current beauty is healed."