Iron Maiden's jet damaged and ground tug operators hurt in collision

Heavy metal band Iron Maiden's Ed Force One plane has been damaged in an airport crash which left two people injured.

The jet was tethered to a tow truck to be taken for refuelling in Santiago, Chile, when the steering pin - part of the mechanism that connects the ground tug to the aircraft - seemingly fell out.

On making a turn, the aircraft collided with the ground tug, badly damaging the undercarriage and two of the aircraft's engines, as well as injuring two ground tug operators, both of whom have been taken to hospital.

In a statement on the British band's website, they said: "We hope of course that they make a full and speedy recovery and we will be closely monitoring their progress.

"The flight engineers are on site and evaluating the damage, but their initial report is that the engines have suffered large damage and will require an extended period of maintenance and possibly two new engines."

The band said they were in the process of making contingency plans to get to their show in Cordoba, Argentina, with band, crew and equipment intact.

"Fortunately the 20 tons of equipment had not been loaded onto Ed Force One at the time of the accident, and none of the band or our road crew were on board or near the airport.

"Although this is tragic for our beautiful plane we do not expect this to affect our concert schedule including the next two shows in Cordoba and Buenos Aires.

"And we hope to find a new Ed Force One to continue this adventure with us in the near future. We will keep everyone updated when we know more, so keep checking only on this site for official news."

The successful band, formed in 1975, will close Download Festival 2016 in Leicestershire on June 12.

They were set to arrive in the East Midlands in the Boeing 747 piloted by lead singer Bruce Dickinson.

A commercial airline pilot and established aviation entrepreneur, Dickinson has been their captain as they visit 35 countries in Ed Force One - which has carried the band, stage production and equipment during their The Book Of Souls World Tour.

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