Runaway catering truck nearly smashes into American jet before ground worker saves the day

Oct 1, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A video went viral Monday night of an out-of-control catering truck nearly smashing into an airplane at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, as several ground staff watched in confusion.

A video posted by Kevin Klauer, the chief executive at American Osteopathic Association in Chicago, shows a Gate Gourmet truck helplessly spinning in circles.

A ground worker is nearly struck before being pulled away. Another darts away from the truck’s path before becoming a victim. Toward the end of the video, the cart gets dangerously close to a nearby American jet just before a quick-thinking employee rams his cart into the truck. Inside the airport, passengers seemed baffled at what was taking place outside.

“Oh my God … what is going on?” said a woman watching the scene unfold.

But when the worker stops the cart, clapping can be heard along with a “that’s how you do it!” from inside the terminal.

The video appeared to be taken from the gate area and went viral with over seven million views, 31,000 retweets and countless jokes.

American said in a statement that the “accelerator became stuck and caused the catering truck to lose control.” The airline said that no American employees were injured, but the incident resulted in one minor flight delay.

Related: Trip delay reimbursement and the credit cards that offer it

A later statement from Envoy, an American Airlines regional carrier, provides more context into what happened. According to the company, a case of water slipped onto the gas pedal, which sent the cart spinning toward the Embraer 140.

But who is the mystery hero on the red cart?

His name is Jorge Manalang, an Envoy Ramp Instructor who has been on the job for six years. According to the statement, Manalang said he was simply “doing my job.”

“Safety is our number one priority and I did not want anyone to get hurt, so I used the pushback to stop the cart,” Manalang said.

“I’m incredibly proud of Jorge’s actions – he not only prevented severe damage to the aircraft, but more importantly, he prevented what could have been serious injury to his fellow ramp employees or our customers onboard,” said Ricky Deane, Envoy Vice President in Chicago. “He demonstrated the ‘safety first’ focus that we have here at the hub – it’s the foundation of everything we do.”

In true social media fashion, the jokes flew with one Twitter user calling it, “just another Monday at O’Hare.” Several praised the quick-thinking Manalang, calling him a hero.

One Twitter user compared the real-life scene to a Hollywood movie.

Another commented on the state of Brexit.

And yet another compared the runaway truck to the Cincinnati Bengals offense, which was blown out by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday. Keeping to the sports theme, Deadspin awarded the clip its “sports highlight of the day.”

Even the president weighed in.

American thanked the ground worker who stopped the truck. The airline said that “safety is our top priority” and said it planned to investigate the incident.

Featured photo courtesy of Scott Olson/Getty Images

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.