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Sat, Mar 31, 2007

DoubleDocker Air Bridge Collapses At DEN, No One Injured

United 757 A Bit Banged Up, Though

A recently-installed passenger walkway fell on the wing of a United Airlines airliner parked at gate B-22 at Denver International Airport Friday, damaging the Boeing 757 but causing no injuries.

The jetbridge in question, manufactured by Dewbridge Airport Systems, is called a "DoubleDocker" -- one that extends over the wing of an aircraft, providing two-door entry and exit access to the plane (shown above and below in proper operation.) The portion that fell was the rear section, which moves over the rear doors of the aircraft.

United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy told the Associated Press the airliner had just arrived from Boston, and the 184 passengers and crew onboard the flight from Boston had not yet deplaned.

The cause of the accident, and the extent of the damage inflicted, has yet to be determined, according to airport spokesman Steve Snyder.

The Associated Press reports the DoubleDockers installed at Denver International last year are designed to accommodate the Airbus A320s flown by United's low-cost Ted subsidiary. According to the company, however, the DoubleDocker can also handle Embraer 190 aircraft, as well as Boeing 737s and the 757-200 -- the type of aircraft damaged in Friday's incident.

Other types of aircraft may also use the so-called "Y" gates; in those cases, the rear portion of the jetway is retracted.

FMI: www.united.com, www.dewbridge.com

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