An armed robbery attempt at Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL), Santiago, Chile, reportedly resulted in a Delta Air Lines Airbus A350, registered as N574DZ, being damaged by gunfire. However, the airline’s spokesperson denied that the aircraft sustained any damage.
According to an Associated Press (AP) report, around 10 heavily armed gunmen breached the airport’s territory and walked onto the runway at SCL on March 8, 2023. Their target was a LATAM Airlines Boeing 787, which had $32.5 million in cash waiting to be transferred onto an armored truck. However, a shootout between the robbers and security personnel at the airport .resulted in the deaths of one robber and an airport employee. Both passed away at the scene. The other assailants fled without the cash.
Two burning vehicles were also spotted at the scene. Video footage on social media showed bullet holes in the Delta Air Lines A350’s vertical stabilizer, while another video showcased the LATAM Airlines Boeing 787 with gunshots sounding in the background.
According to the US airline’s spokesperson in a statement to AeroTime, the widebody aircraft “was extensively examined following the incident and confirmed to be clear of damage”. Furthermore, no Delta Air Lines employees or passengers sustained any injuries.
“Our hearts go out to the loved ones of those impacted by today’s sad events at Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport and Delta will work closely with all aviation stakeholders as these events are investigated. Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and our people,” the spokesperson concluded in the airline’s statement.
Meanwhile, the Delta Air Lines Airbus A350, registered as N574DZ, later departed SCL for Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ALT) on the same day, at 11:31 PM local time (UTC -4). It arrived at its US destination at 6:24 AM local time (UTC -5) and is also scheduled to come back to SCL on March 9, 2023, departing from ATL for the Chilean capital at 7:50 PM local time (UTC -5).