An American Airline employee, who intercepted an out-of-control catering cart before it nearly hit an aircraft, is being hailed as a hero.

The incident happened Monday, Sept. 30, at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport when a cart was parked by an Embraer 140 aircraft as beverages were being loaded for the outbound flight. A case of water fell onto the gas pedal, which sent the cart spinning.

According to Envoy Air, which is a subsidiary of American Airlines, the cart swinging in circles at high speed near a parked plane, despite having no one behind the wheel.

While several employees watched from the sidelines as the vehicle came closer and closer to a nearby plane, Jorge Manalang, a six-year veteran of Envoy, responded by jumping onto a push-back tug and driving it into the cart, just before it hit the loaded aircraft.

The cart then toppled over, beverages and more spilling out, according to officials.

American Airlines said that it was investigating the accident and that preliminary reports indicate a stuck accelerator is to blame. There were no injuries, and the incident resulted in a 10-minute flight delay.

“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.

A special recognition is being planned to thank Manalang for his heroic efforts.


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