[WATCH] Private jet of Tory peer Lord Ashcroft ‘taxies’ off Malta apron into Polidano offices

The private jet of Conservative Party peer Michael Ashcroft careened off the Malta apron and crashed into the Hal Farrug offices of the Polidano Group after the parked aircraft got unhinged

Michael Ashcroft's (inset) private jet lost its security cables and taxied straight off the Malta runway
Michael Ashcroft's (inset) private jet lost its security cables and taxied straight off the Malta runway

A private jet belonging to the Tory peer Lord Ashcroft got unhinged from its parking spot at Malta airport on Wednesday night, and manouvered its way right into the Polidano Group offices in Hal Farrug.

The construction company's offices are located right off the outermost apron of the Malta International Airport.

It is understood that the plane, which was at Park 4 at the Malta International Airport, moved off the apron and straight into the Polidano offices, possibly after strong winds dislodged and blew away wheel chock supposed to prevent it from moving.

The plane then slid along the sloped ground, smashing into offices at some speed and sustaining extensive damage. The Malta police and Armed Forces were on site to close the road to traffic.

Polidano legal representative Jean Paul Sammut said: “It seems like it was the result of the strong winds. The building didn’t sustain major damage, but we presume the aircraft did.”

The private jet, registered in Bermuda, belongs to politician Michael Ashcroft, Baron Ashcroft. He is a former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party and is the 74th richest person in the UK, as ranked by the Sunday Times Rich List 2015, with an estimated fortune of £1.32 billion. His peerage was controversial due to his status as a tax exile. Ashcroft holds dual British and Belizean nationality, and is a belonger of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

While Lord Ashcroft has not issued a formal statement on the incident, when asked on Twitter last night if the aircraft belonged to him, he responded: “Nooooooo…”

In a statement, Malta International Airport confirmed that the Dassault Falcon 7X was blown away from apron 4 where it was parked, through the airport fence and onto the adjacent road, crashing into private property nearby.

MIA said the incident was due to the strong winds which hit the island yesterday evening.

“The airport's Operations and Security teams were deployed to the scene immediately to safeguard the integrity of the Aerodrome and secure the airport perimeter,” the statement said.

MIA’s Rescue and Fire Fighting Services were also on the scene as a precautionary measure, however no injuries were reported. 

The Bureau of Air Accident Investigation has launched an investigation.

A similar incident occurred on 20 July, 2007, when a Harrier GR.7 from the Royal Air Force was parked on Park 4. Since the apron is not levelled, the Harrier fighter jet moved back on its own, incurring some damage to its fuselage. The incident prompted an evacuation of all nearby plane-spotters.

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