Jet Bridge Smashes Into Side Of Memphis Airport In Severe Storm

Extreme weather in Memphis had unfortunate consequences for a jet bridge at the airport. The jet bridge at gate A27 was blown free from its place of rest in what has been described by the airport as a “tornadic storm”. Thankfully, nobody was hurt in the incident which happened overnight.

Memphis Airport, Jet Bridge, Tornado
A tornado shifted a jet bridge weighing several tonnes. Photo: Memphis International Airport via Twitter

The National Weather Service reports that an EF1 tornado was active in the Memphis Area on Monday. According to The Independent,

“The tornado reached an estimated peak wind speed of 105mph and moved 1.4 miles, with a width of about 180m.” 

It would appear that the storm was so strong that a jet bridge weighing several tons was moved without much effort at all by the tornado.

Storm hits Memphis

Airports, by their nature, are usually in large open spaces. This allows for aircraft to maneuver around in the skies above, and approach the airport. A famous example where this wasn’t the case is Hong Kong’s retired Kai Tak Airport, where the approach to land is informally known as the “Kai Tak Heart Attack” due to the terrain to be navigated.

Memphis Airport, Jet Bridge, Tornado
Tornados can wreak havoc on airports. Photo: FEMA

However, due to the large open spaces typically surrounding airports, they are offered little protection against severe inclement weather. Earlier this week, a Tornado hit Memphis Airport. While such a story would typically be about aircraft damaged, the storm in question managed to move an entire jet bridge.

The jet bridge takes flight

When the “tornadic weather” hit Memphis, the airport was not immune to the consequences. Over the years we’ve seen some pretty intense damage caused at airports as a result of severe weather. However, this usually this damage affects aircraft.

This week, however, it was the airport infrastructure’s turn to take some damage. As the storm swept across the airport’s ramp, it picked up a hitchhiker. The jet bridge, weighing between 7-12 tonnes according to internet sources, was swept into the terminal building. On its way, several vehicles, including a baggage loader, were taken out.

Thankfully, according to Memphis Airport, where the incident took place, no injuries were sustained. The airport tweeted a statement saying That’s a jet bridge weighing several tons being blown into the side of A concourse. Fortunately, no one was injured in this incident.”

Did you witness the jet bridge incident earlier this week? What do you make of the damage caused by the tornado? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!