(Reuters) - Two passengers jets taking off at Chicago Midway Airport rolled toward each other on intersecting runways before air traffic controllers noticed the problem and prevented a possible collision, officials said on Wednesday.
The near-miss occurred on Tuesday night when a Southwest Airlines <LUV.N> flight was cleared for takeoff on one runway and an air traffic controller noticed a Delta Air Lines <DAL.N> plane was rolling without proper clearance on another runway, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.
The two runways intersect at right angles in the middle of the airfield. The air traffic controller told the Delta crew to come to an immediate stop, and the Southwest crew chose to put on the brakes as well, the FAA statement said.
The two planes each halted more than 2,000 feet (610 meters) from the runway intersection, according to the FAA. The incident is under investigation.
Southwest in a statement confirmed its crew safely aborted a takeoff and said the flight later took off for its destination of Tulsa, Oklahoma, without further incident. Representatives from Delta did not return calls or an email seeking comment
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Sandra Maler)