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A plane crashed into a catering truck at Manchester Airport while preparing to take off on Sunday, causing significant delays and sparking an investigation into the smash.

Around 60 passengers were on board German airline Aurigny's twin turboprop plane as it was pushed away from the gate by a tow truck and struck a nearby catering truck.

The incident happened at about 9:50am local time Sunday.

The passengers on board the Guernsey-bound flight were instructed to disembark and head back to the terminal while Aurigny organized a replacement aircraft from its base in Germany.

Passenger Scott Grayson, who shared several pictures from the scene, praised the aircraft's pilot and crew who quickly sprang into action to calm passengers and assist their disembark.

"Fire brigade [was] there in quick time, pilot and stewardesses bang on. Just a bad day at the office for the guy who pushed the plane back," wrote Grayson.

Following a three-hour delay, passengers boarded the Aurigny replacement plane without incident.

Aurigny is sending aviation engineers to inspect the damage and investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash, reports the Manchester Evening News.