Southwest jet nearly collides with emergency vehicle that crossed runway at BWI Airport: FAA

A Southwest jet nearly collided with an emergency vehicle on a runway at BWI Marshall Airport in January – missing each other by a distance of just 170 feet.

The incident happened Thursday, January 12 when Federal Aviation Administration officials say an airport emergency vehicle crossed Runway 15 without authorization as a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 took off.

"The plane took off before it reached the point where the vehicle had crossed," read a statement from the transportation agency. "The FAA estimates the vehicle was approximately 170 feet past the runway when the airborne plane flew over that intersection."

The information was released as federal officials investigate a string of close calls between planes at airports across the nation.

In March, a taxing plane at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport made a wrong turn onto a runway where another plane was taking off. That incident happened March 7 and is currently still under investigation.

Besides the close calls, there have also been several recent incidents involving severe turbulence causing injuries on planes. In the most recent case, a Lufthansa plane flying from Austin to Germany diverted to Washington Dulles International Airport leaving seven people on board with injuries. The FAA is investigating this case as well.