STAKE BAY, Cayman Islands -- On Thursday, firefighters with the Cayman Islands Fire Service Aerodrome Unit were conducting what was described as “a mandatory speed test” on the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport runway in Cayman Brac when the fire truck they were driving turned over.
The two firefighters who were inside the fire truck were transported to the local hospital for evaluation and treatment.
The airport in Cayman Brac was closed, as no planes were able to land on the runway.
The Cayman Islands Airport Authority (CIAA), the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS), The Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS), other aviation officials and Public Works Department personnel assessed the situation at the site.
The RCIPS used its own helicopter to fly a qualified accident reconstructionist to the scene. The injured men were flown to hospital in Grand Cayman on the return flight.
The cause of the crash will be fully investigated.
Bystanders said the truck flipped completely before coming to a rest on a grassy verge on the edge of the runway.
The roof was crumpled and the side of the vehicle was sheared off by the impact. It was still in place, surrounded by scattered debris, on Thursday afternoon as investigators assessed the scene.
Fabian Whorms, CEO of Cayman Airways, said the greater concern in the medium term was the loss of fire truck support at the airport. Air safety regulations require at least two fire trucks to be on standby before a jet can land, and the accident leaves the fire service with just one working truck at the airport.